Man cleared of stalking Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts

Ashley Roberts (PA)
Ashley Roberts (PA)

A man has been cleared of stalking Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley Roberts outside the Heart radio studios in Leicester Square.

Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley Roberts told Croydon Magistrates’ Court she “didn’t feel safe” after the man who believed they were dating turned up repeatedly outside her place of work, a court heard.

Lewis Langley, 47, was accused of obsessively pursuing the former Strictly Come Dancing star over five months last year.

The court heard he regularly loitered outside the Heart radio studios in Leicester Square where Ms Roberts works as a DJ, turning up early in the morning and when her show was due to end.

It was also claimed Langley sat outside a residential building in Borough where he believed the star lived, telling people she was “his girlfriend”.

He was charged with two counts of stalking but cleared on both allegations following a day-long trial.

But the judge did make made a three-year restraining order, banning Langley from contacting Ms Roberts directly or indirectly or going within 50 metres of Global Radio.

Giving evidence via videolink, Ms Roberts said she was left feeling “very uncomfortable” thanks to Langley’s activities.

“I didn’t feel safe, I felt uncomfortable walking around, looking over my shoulder to make sure he wasn’t around or following me”, she said.

“I was told his belief system was that we were in a relationship together.”

Ms Roberts said she noticed Langley as she arrived for and left work, seeing him “staring, smiling, giggling to himself, blowing kisses”.

“Sometimes he was doing lunges and exercise kind of moves”, she said.

“Sometimes he was just standing there, smiling and giggling. At one point, he blew a kiss to my car.”

Ms Roberts, wearing a silky pink blouse, told the judge she saw Langley around 15 times, walking near to her in the street and following her car.

She said her bosses arranged for extra security, with guards escorting her to and from her car, and recalled a particular incident: “He was next to me when I was walking along the road, papparazzi were there.

“I got into the car, the car started to drive. When I looked over to the right, he was standing on the sidewalk blowing kisses.”

She said Langley would giggled to himself, and added: “It seemed a bit odd, it was odd behaviour. I did clock it. I realised it was someone I should avoid.

“I was more concerned about what he was thinking about me. I wasn’t sure what he was capable of with that belief system.”

A security guard for the radio station told the court he regularly interacted with Langley, who attracted the nickname “The Martial Artist”.

“He would put his bag on the floor and start throwing kicks in the air, jogging on the spot, and sometimes pretending to be a footballer”, he said.

“He was doing imaginary diving headers in Leicester Square itself.”

Langley told the guard he was “doing his homework” or “doing what he had to do”, the court heard.

The guard said Langley was always polite when they talked, while Ms Roberts told the court she had never been directly spoken to by the man.

Hesham Puri, defending, said that although Langley’s “odd” behaviour may have been “unattractive” and “irritating”, he never tried to approach or talk to Ms Roberts and it did not cause the “serious alarm or distress” necessary to find him guilty of stalking.

District Judge Nigel McLean cleared Langley of stalking, telling him it was a “very serious offence, which carries significant sanctions” and must be proved to a very high standard.

“On the admissible evidence available to the court, the Crown has failed to reach that requisite standard,” he said.

But the judge made a three-year restraining order, banning Langley from contacting Ms Roberts directly or indirectly or going within 50 metres of Global Radio.

Langley, who denies the charge, was accused of waiting outside a south London residential building where he believed Ms Roberts lived, telling the security manager that she is his “girlfriend”.

“During the months of May and July, the defendant is described as repeatedly and routinely attending the workplace of Ms Roberts around the time she was starting work”, said prosecutor Alex Alawode.

He said Langley was “seen loitering nearby” at 6am, while “watching as she attended, and was also present at the time when she was leaving the building”.

He said the defendant was caught on CCTV “performing exercise routines outside the building, in the form of high kicks and running”.

The prosecutor went on: “The defendant attended an address in the Borough area of London, an address at which he believed Ms Roberts lived.”

Langley is said to have left items outside the address, then called the police a few days later when he found the items were missing.

“He said he left them outside his girlfriend’s house”, said Mr Alawode. “Asked who his girlfriend was, he gave Ms Roberts’ name.”

Langley alleged claimed to have contacted the singer on social media and insisted she was “ignoring him”, the court heard.

The building’s security manager, Anna Olivera, says Langley turned up “regularly”, and was seen “sitting in a chair staring directly into the building”, claiming he was “waiting for his girlfriend”.

The court heard Langley was detained by police and then in a mental health facility for a month, but continued the behaviour when he was released in October.

Ms Alawode said Langley “followed” Ms Roberts as she got into a car outside her workplace, and was “blowing kisses into the window, believed to be directly aimed at Ms Roberts”.

Ms Roberts, a former Dancing on Ice judge and I’m a Celebrity contestant, was given permission to give evidence via videolink, after telling the court she is concerned about being in the same room as Langley.

Langley, of Thornton Heath, faced a second charge of stalking Ms Olivera, but that was dismissed by District Judge Nigel McLean after she refused to give evidence and the prosecutor offered no evidence.

He has been remanded in custody awaiting sentencing for a breach of a non-molestation order in relation to his ex-partner.