Mid Wales

US author Kristine Carlson 'forgives' Brecon stalker

Mark Jury Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Mark Jury met Kristine Carlson on a flight from LA to London

A best-selling American author who was stalked by a wedding photographer for seven years after meeting on a flight has said she "forgives him".

Mark Jury, 40, of Llangattock, Powys, "relentlessly" plagued Kristine Carlson and her teenage daughter, Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard.

He admitted two counts of stalking and was jailed for four and a half years.

Widow Mrs Carlson, 52, said: "I hold only forgiveness for Mark Jury and his obsession."

The court heard the California-based author of the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff books began a "living nightmare" when she sat next to Jury on a transatlantic flight from Los Angeles to Heathrow.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Kristine Carlson and her daughter Kenna were targeted

The court heard she "showed sympathy for the odd little man" during the ten-hour flight from LAX to London - even giving him one of her books.

But her kindness started a stalking campaign, with Jury bombarding her in California with flowers, chocolates, tweets and thousands of emails.

A court heard Jury targeted the self-help author after a psychic told him he would meet his future mother-in-law on a plane.

But after his advances were shunned, he started to attack her over the internet.

He hacked into Mrs Carlson's social media accounts, downloaded hundreds of pictures of her and her teenage daughter Kenna and even travelled to America in a bid to meet her face-to-face.

Jury then demanded £150,000 from Mrs Carlson to stop his campaign.

He was eventually stopped after FBI investigators passed on a file to police in Britain.

'Emotionally raped'

Speaking of the sentence, Mrs Carlson said: "We receive no joy that comes in the form of vengeance towards this person.

"It was a peek into the dark side of insanity but it all has a way of working out as I stay in tune to my heart - letting go of fear and filling up with love."

She added: "I kept telling myself over and over I was living with a parasite attached to me and my girls."

Prosecutor Laurence Jones described it as "a relentless campaign" and said Jury was "obsessed and infatuated", attacking "her work, her role as a mother and her business".

After he made it clear he was planning to visit the author and her family, she took her daughter out of school for 10 days and left her home until she was sure Jury had left the country, Mr Jones added.

Judge Richard Twomlow said: "This was a protracted campaign of cyber stalking.

"It caused a deterioration in Kristine Carlson's life and her daughter said she felt like she had been emotionally raped."

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