A mature Cambridge student has been given an anti-stalking order after becoming infatuated with her elderly professor and leaving him in fear.
Obsessed Seema Malik, 50, pleaded with the don to leave his wife and hounded him with calls and emails.
Magistrates heard she was so deluded she considered herself to be married to him and did not recognise him to be married to his wife.
Malik developed an “unhealthy infatuation” with the professor and spoke of a “very strong connection” on their first meeting.
The 65 year-old academic, who has not been named, did nothing to encourage her affection and is in frail health with an aggressive form of cancer.
A court heard that Malik came from India to study a PhD at the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University and the don was one of her tutors.
Paul Brown, prosecuting, said she believed her was “communicating with her without actually writing or speaking to her”
He said Malik sent 20 emails and left 20 voicemails to the happily-married don in September this year.
He said: “She has become increasingly obsessed with him to the point it’s described as an unhealthy infatuation that she cannot control.
“She says she felt a very strong connection with him from the first time they met.
“She considers herself to be married to him and does not recognise him to be married to his wife.
“The professor is a vulnerable victim because of his ill health.
“He is in the advanced stages of cancer and he is physically and emotionally vulnerable because of this.”
Malik quit her PhD last month after being confronted by faculty staff about stalking the professor.
But she could not keep herself away and turned up at his home three times demanding to see him.
The professor told the court Malik’s behaviour “unnerved me and my wife and it has led us to fear for our safety”.
The terrified don alerted police and Malik was arrested and charged with stalking.
She admitted the offence at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Monday and was given a restraining order.
She was also given a one-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £165 costs – and told she was lucky to escape prison.
Malik divided her time between Cambridge and New Delhi and first came into contact with the professor in 2009.
As part of her research she was investigating teachers’ professional development as “a strategy for authentic school improvement in India”.
She was on a student visa and now faces deportation after forfeiting the right to reside in the UK by quitting her studies.
Malik, 50, broke her restraining order 24 hours after leaving court and was due
back before magistrates yesterday (Weds).
She was banned on Monday from having any contact with Professor John Gray, 65, and his wife Maggie Challis, 61.
She was also barred from Homerton College, Cambridge where the don works and his home address in Grantchester, on the edge of Cambridge.
But Malik, of no fixed abode, visited Homerton College on Tuesday a day after appearing in court.
She was arrested at 12.50pm and held overnight before being taken back in front of magistrates.
Professor Gray became a Fellow of the British Academy in 2000 and also served as the first Dean of Research of the newly-converged Faculty of Education.
He has specialised in school improvement, school effectiveness, the dynamics of change, the nature of educational reform and educational evaluation.
His interests on the Cambridge University website include challenges facing disadvantaged schools and their communities.
It is understood he is currently not working at the university due to ill health.
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