Judge lets pensioner take cat into the dock to calm his nerves as stalking trial starts

Telegraph Reporters
Aidan Wiltshire, arriving at court with his black cat Taylor, was given special permission to have the animal in his lap in court - JOHN McLELLAN - 07860 303573

A pensioner accused of stalking has been allowed by a judge to take his cat into the court dock to help calm his nerves during his trial.

Aidan Wiltshire, 73, was given special permission by Judge David Turner QC to have his black cat, called Taylor, on his lap at Chelmsford Crown Court, after the judge was told it would "comfort him".

Wiltshire, from Chelmsford, Essex, brought Taylor to court in a shopping trolley. Once in the dock, he put the cat in his lap.

As the jury arrived in court, the judge warned them that they might see a cat in the dock with the defendant and told them Wiltshire was "helped" by having Taylor with him.

Wiltshire is alleged to have stalked two women - Alison Gowman, a solicitor, and Carol Irwin, a Methodist minister - who were allegedly sent numerous letters and received phone calls from Wiltshire. 

Carol Irwin and Alison Gowman split

Carol Irwin, left, and Alison Gowman, right, were allegedly stalking victims of Aidan Wiltshire (John McLellan)

During her evidence, Ms Irwin, told the jury that court was not the only place Wiltshire had taken the cat, adding that he had also taken Taylor to church with him.

Wiltshire's alleged stalking is said to have taken place between May 2014 and April 2015.

Marc Brown, prosecuting, said: "One complainant is a solicitor with a firm in Central London and also a member of the Hind Street Methodist Church, Marylebone.

"She came to know the defendant who identified herself as Anne Wiltshire and who used to take her cat to church."

Aidan Wiltshire arriving at Chelmsford Crown Court with Taylor Credit:  JOHN McLELLAN

Mr Brown added: "It seems the defendant formed an attachment to her into believing her to be his legal adviser. He began to communicate to her writing letters to her place of work and making calls there and to her home and they were persistent."

Wiltshire denies two charges of stalking and the trial continues.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes