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Friday, 2 March, 2001, 15:05 GMT
Billie stalker walks free
Billie Piper
Billie Piper: Received death threats over telephone
A woman who was found guilty of making death threats to singer Billie Piper has walked free from court with an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

Juliet Peters, 32, also received a combined two-year supervision order at London's Blackfriars Crown on Friday.

Passing sentence, Judge Brian Pryor QC said there was no doubt Peters' behaviour had left people in fear of their lives.

Billie Piper and Juliet Peters - still from Channel 5's Pepsi Chart Show
Juliet Peters next to Billie Piper on the Channel 5 show
Peters, of Canning Town, east London, made a barrage of abuse-laden telephone calls on Ms Piper's record company answering machine.

She was found guilty on nine counts of threatening Ms Piper, 18, at Blackfriars Crown Court at the beginning of February.

Peters had denied five sample counts of threatening to kill the pop star between 14-25 August last year.

She had also denied four similar allegations involving the singer's parents, Mandy Kent and Paul Piper.

She had threatened to decapitate Ms Piper and burn her body, and shoot her parents.

After Friday's hearing, Peters was driven away in the back of a minicab, a coat over her head.

'Comfort'

Outside court, the case officer, Detective Constable Victoria Merron, said she had made Ms Piper and her parents aware of the possibility that Peters could be allowed to go free.

"They have been very supportive throughout the whole thing and very aware of the way our criminal justice system works," she said.

Billie Piper leaving court after the four-day trial
Billie Piper leaving court after the four-day trial

"The important thing is that Peters' threats to kill were recognised unanimously by the jury.

"It was certainly a great comfort to both Ms Piper and her parents that Peters was found guilty and that their fears were believed."

The four-day trial had heard how Peters embarked on her campaign after Ms Piper gave her a "sly, dirty look" while she was in the studio audience for Channel 5's Pepsi Chart Show programme.

Ms Piper shot to fame aged 15 with the track Because We Want To.

Ms Piper had told the trial court that the messages, played to her after returning from Canada last August were "scary" and the "worst thing" she had ever had to listen to.

Her parents had spoken of being "totally shocked and horrified" by what they heard.

Judge Brian Pryor QC had adjourned sentencing for psychiatric and pre-sentence reports until Friday after a plea from the jury that Peters should "receive help from a psychiatrist or counsellor".

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See also:

01 Sep 00 | Entertainment
The Pied Piper of Swindon
07 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Billie jury told to 'remember Lennon'
06 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Billie's 'horror' at phone threats
08 Feb 01 | Health
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08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Billie stalker found guilty
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