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Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Notorious stalker jailed for life
Maidstone Crown Court
Hurdle was sentenced to life at Maidstone Crown Court
A former naval officer, who was identified in a television programme as Britain's "most notorious" stalker, has been jailed for life.

Anthony Hurdle pleading guilty to attempting to murder his ex-girlfriend.

A court heard Hurdle nearly killed Lorraine Nicholson when he slashed her wrist with such force, her hand was left hanging off.

Hurdle was jailed for three years in 1996 for stalking another girlfriend, after a high-profile test case.

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Miss Nicholson ended her relationship with Hurdle after she saw him identified in a television as Britain's "most notorious" stalker.

She told Maidstone Crown Court she did not believe it could be Hurdle, as she had no idea about his past.

But when she confronted him about it he simply said: "Yes it's me".

This is a wicked offence and it justifies a severe sentence not only to punish you but to serve as a warning to others

Judge Andrew Patience QC

Hurdle, a former naval petty officer, of Hythe, Kent, stalked Miss Nicholson in the run up to 24 November, 2000, when the attack happened.

Maidstone Crown Court heard how Hurdle turned up at her home in Ashford, Kent forced his way through the front door and cut her left arm, severing all the veins and arteries.

On 19 November, five days before the attack, one of Miss Nicholson's friends received a text message from Hurdle, formerly known as Anthony Burstow.

In it he said: "Please tell Lorraine her game is over. No call today. I take over the process".

Hurdle's stalking history dates back to 1993 when he started following, phoning and sending obscene letters to a previous girlfriend, Tracey Sant.

Hurdle's sentence is: "A warning to others".
He was jailed on three occasions for burgling her home and stealing her knickers as well as following her and littering her front garden with condoms.

In 1996 he was jailed for three years for causing grievous bodily harm to Ms Sant's mind, a conviction that was later ruled safe by the House of Lords in a test case.

As he was passing Hurdle's life sentence Judge Andrew Patience QC said: "It is clear to me that when a relationship with a woman comes to an end you can't accept it and you become obsessional.

"This is a wicked offence and it justifies a severe sentence not only to punish you but to serve as a warning to others."

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