‘Obsessed’ driving instructor jailed for breaking restraining order to see ex-pupil

Graham Mansie, 53, from Kent, drove 200 miles to visit ex-pupil Maisie Relph, who had a restraining order against him Credit: PA

An “infatuated” driving instructor has been jailed after driving more than 200 miles from London to Yorkshire to see a former pupil he had been stalking.

Graham Mansie, 53, from Beckenham, Kent, admitted breaking a restraining order just nine days after it was imposed to see his victim Maisie Relph, 19, who was studying in York.

Mansie was spotted by Ms Relph's flatmate sitting under a tree outside their campus accommodation at 11.20pm on 27 May this year.

This was just nine days after magistrates in Bromley, Kent, had handed the driving instructor a two-month jail sentence, suspended for a year, for stalking her.

University security and the police found Mansie sobbing and saw he had been self-harming, inflicting superficial cuts, with blades he had taken with him in his car.

Victim Maisie Relph said she was 'gobsmacked' her driving instructor Graham Mansie drove from London to York to stalk her again Credit: PA

Judge Simon Hickey, sitting at York Crown Court, jailed him for 20 months and imposed an indefinite restraining order, warning him the sentence for any future breach would be measured in years, not months.

The defendant had become “infatuated” with the teenager when he was teaching her to drive, the judge said.

'I think about what has happened every day'

Ms Relph made a victim statement in court, saying: “This crime has impacted me both emotionally and psychologically.”

The student said the stress of being stalked has led her to be diagnosed with severe anorexia and she was undergoing therapy.

“I think about what has happened every day, constantly worried and paranoid about what could happen,” she said.

“I thought things genuinely could not get any worse after the previous incidents. However, when Mr Mansie breaks a legal order just nine days after sentencing, it leaves me to question if this will ever end.”

Ex-driving instructor Graham Mansie, 53, breached a restraining order after he stalked former pupil Maisie Relph Credit: PA

She said he was “obsessed” and him driving from south London to York left her “gobsmacked”.

“I am now a 19-year-old who is battling a severe mental illness and having to live with a 53-year-old stalker, whilst trying to get a degree,” the psychology student told the court.

Targeted with messages, gifts and social media accounts

Giles Bridge, prosecuting, said Ms Relph had been a pupil of Mansie’s in Bromley and he had initially behaved appropriately, but he came to describe her as his “favourite” and set up social media accounts about her.

On one occasion the instructor tried to give another student a gift bag to pass on to her that contained £65 in restaurant vouchers, a keyring with eight personalised charms and a card where he described her as “kind” and “amazing”.

Mansie then outlined his “strong” feelings in a long text message.

Her mother replied, telling him not to teach Ms Relph any more and to seek help.

But Mansie persisted and joined a WhatsApp group for her Halls of Residence in York and drove up to the campus in October last year, but did not enter her accommodation.

He was arrested and charged with stalking, for which he was handed the suspended sentence in May.

After he was arrested, Mansie told police that news and social media coverage of his case led him to go to York with the intention of killing himself.

Graham Parkin, defending Mansie, who appeared via a prison videolink, said his client was withdrawn and isolated and he had pleaded guilty to breaching the restraining order and possessing a blade at the first opportunity.

A 'terrifying experience'

Ms Relph was supported in court by around 10 friends and after the hearing she thanked them, her university and the police for their support.

She said: “Hopefully now he (Mansie) will learn his lesson.

“I think I can now get my life back on track and enjoy university.”

After the case, Detective Constable Michelle Neighbour of North Yorkshire Police’s dedicated Stalking Support Team, said: “We’re pleased with today’s sentence and hope that it gives Maisie and her family and friends the reassurance that they can safely carry on with their lives, now that Mansie is behind bars.

“Having someone, who is ordered by the court to stay away from you, brazenly break that order within days and pursue you across the country is a terrifying experience.

“Maisie has been amazingly brave throughout this investigation and has remained committed to working with us over the past three months to ensure justice is served.

“She was determined to stand up in court today to read her Victim Personal Statement, so she could talk about the devastating impact this experience has had on her life.”

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