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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 14:50 GMT
Woman jailed for stalking doctor
Maria Marchese
Maria Marchese hounded Dr Jan Falkowski for three years
A woman who was found guilty of threatening a doctor with texts, e-mails and phone messages has been jailed for nine years.

Maria Marchese, 45, hounded Dr Jan Falkowski, 45, and his fiancee Deborah Pemberton for three years.

The doctor even had to stand trial for rape after Marchese fabricated evidence and made a false accusation.

Marchese, of Bow, east London, sent death threats to Ms Pemberton saying she would be killed if they married.

The couple eventually called off the wedding, scheduled for September 2003, and separated.

Dr Jan Falkowski
I think it's very unfortunate the way things went, but I'm very glad now that finally she's been given a long sentence which she deserves
Dr Jan Falkowski

Outside Southwark Crown Court, Dr Falkowski said he was pleased with the verdict and now felt he could finally move on and rebuild his life.

"It's been a catastrophic effect and it's made a massive impact on my life over the last three or four years," he said, standing beside his new partner, Bethan Ansell.

"I'm very glad finally to have the sentencing out of the way, so I can put it all behind me.

"I think in the end, the result and the sentence today sort of vindicate the fact that I was always innocent.

"I think it's very unfortunate the way things went, but I'm very glad now that finally she's been given a long sentence which she deserves."

'Terrifying campaign'

Sentencing, Judge John Price told an unrepentant Marchese she would have to serve at least six years before being considered for parole.

He also imposed a lifelong restraining order banning her from several addresses including London's Mile End Hospital, where Dr Falkowski hopes to return to work.

Marchese was ordered to pay 9,000 to each of the complainants. The judge said if the two sums were not paid within three months, a further year would be added to her jail term.

He said she had been convicted on the clearest evidence of a "sustained, terrifying campaign of threats to kill and harassment".

Southwark Crown Court was told Marchese embarked on a campaign of abuse between October 2002 and September 2003.

What you did to those two was dreadfully painful, dreadfully hard and caused them enormous suffering
Judge John Price

Dr Falkowski met Argentinian-born Marchese during consultations with her partner who was being treated by him for mental illness in 2002.

As well as sending messages declaring her undying love for the psychiatrist, she warned his fiancee Ms Pemberton, 35, she would be "burnt down in her wedding dress" if she dared marry him.

Another message read "dig your own grave" and one said: "Your life will end, gunman paid".

She also burgled the consultant psychiatrist's riverboat home and turned all the gas taps on, risking a lethal explosion.

'Dramatic effect'

Dr Falkowski and Ms Pemberton reported Marchese to the police and she was arrested, but no charges were brought due to insufficient evidence.

The couple then split up due to the overwhelming stress. But Dr Falkowski's ordeal was not over.

Marchese then falsified DNA evidence against the doctor by retrieving one of his condoms from a rubbish bin to back up claims he raped her.

As a result of Marchese's claims he was charged with rape in 2004 and cleared in 2005.

"What you did to those two was dreadfully painful, dreadfully hard and caused them enormous suffering," said Judge Price.

"It is difficult to imagine a more serious case. The effect on the victims was dramatic."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Dr Jan Falkowski's reaction to the sentencing



SEE ALSO
Woman guilty of stalking doctor
02 Aug 06 |  London
Doctor cleared over rape charge
15 Aug 05 |  London
Doctor on hospital rape charge
25 Jan 05 |  London

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