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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 September 2005, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Harvey Nichols gunman 'a stalker'
Victim Clare Bernal
Clare Bernal was being harassed by Michael Pech
A man who shot dead a shop assistant in an exclusive department store then turned the gun on himself had been due in court next week for harassing her.

Michael Pech, 30, admitted a charge of harassment last month and was due to be sentenced on 21 September.

Victim Clare Bernal, 22, was shot at work in the beauty section of Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge on Tuesday.

Her mother Tricia, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, said Ms Bernal's only fault "was to see good in everybody".

In a statement, Mrs Bernal said: "Clare was unaware of her own beauty - both inside and outside - and the only fault Clare possessed was to see good in everybody.

It was well-known he was stalking her
Colleague Heather Chulu

"This trust was eventually abused, leaving us all with such unbearable grief."

Former Harvey Nichols security guard Pech, a Czech national, had pestered her with phone calls, said Heather Chulu, 22, who works on a skincare counter.

"She had been seeing him briefly but then had decided that she didn't want any more to do with him."

She added: "It was well-known he was stalking her."

Another colleague, Meilan Baxter-Cockbill, claimed when Ms Bernal made clear she was not interested in taking him back, Mr Pech told her: "If I can't have you, nobody will."

Policemen question people outside Harvey Nichols
Police are not looking for anyone else over the shooting

It is said he had begun to follow her, make repeated phone calls to her and sent numerous text messages after their brief relationship had ended.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed a man was charged with harassment in April and pleaded guilty on 31 August.

Pech, who had threatened to kill Ms Bernal in March, had been on bail on the condition he did not contact her or go to Dulwich Village, south-east London, where she lived.

But on Tuesday, he walked into Harvey Nichols and shot her several times in the head, before shooting himself.

Ms Bernal was described by colleagues as a popular woman, who was quiet and well-spoken.

Many hugged each other and burst into tears as they arrived at work on Wednesday.

The store's marketing director, Julia Bowe, said staff had been offered counselling to help them deal with the trauma.

She added: "This is now a matter of police investigation and we are unable to make any further comment other than to express our sadness at this tragic loss of life and to extend our sympathies to the families and friends of those involved."


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