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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 14:08 GMT
A woman's road to obsession
Maria Marchese

Dr Jan Falkowski said he never met the woman who had a "catastrophic effect" on his life.

But Maria Marchese was so deluded she thought they were lovers - and that his fiancée Deborah Pemberton, was trying to ruin their happiness.

Marchese became infatuated with the doctor when he treated her partner for a mental illness in 2002.

By September of that year she was spying on him and his fiancee.

One of her diary entries read: "For once something magical. At once something stopped my heart, at once something goes for me."

Marchese, a cheese seller at Selfridges, rang the couple's friends and family to find out their personal details - including their dates of birth, car registration plate numbers and medical details.

And on at least two occasions Dr Falkowski returned to find an intruder had broken into his yacht, and left the lights and gas switched on.

She began texting the doctor, with one message about his children by a previous marriage, warning: "Do you want them to have the wickedest of step-mothers?"

You will be burnt down in your wedding dress
Text message sent by Marchese

Marchese then discovered the date and location of the wedding reception and sent hundreds of text messages threatening to kill the bride with a hitman.

One message to Ms Pemberton read: "You will be burnt down in your wedding dress".

In another she said: "Times running out, gunman paid and ready to go."

She even got hold of the chef's number and sent him a text warning the food had been poisoned and the guests would die.

Convinced the 2003 wedding would end in tragedy if it went ahead, the "terrified" couple cancelled.

But police convinced them that by pretending everything was still on schedule, they might lure their stalker into the open.

Dr Jan Falkowski
Dr Jan Falkowski and his fiancée eventually split up

On what should have been one of the happiest days of their lives, the couple remained at home while teams of officers staked out public phone boxes in Poole, Dorset - and Marchese was arrested.

Although the pair's relationship ended a few weeks later because of the stress, Dr Falkowski thought the "campaign" was finally over.

His former fiancee, who has since moved abroad, branded the harassment "a living nightmare" and said she thought of taking her own life.

But the charges against Marchese were dropped and she set about framing Dr Falkowski.

She wrote a letter to the Royal London Hospital, where the psychiatrist worked, claiming he had raped her there two years earlier.

And to prove her claims, she gave police a pair of knickers she had smeared with semen from a condom stolen from his bin 18 months earlier.

Kidnap threat

"The professional consequences were devastating," the father-of-two said.

"I lost my private practice and my reputation was irreparably damaged.

"I never realised somebody so evil would go to such a concerted effort to destroy my life and that of Debbie Pemberton."

He was finally cleared when forensic scientists instructed by his defence team found the semen contained the DNA profiles of both the doctor and his then partner - someone he had not met until a year after the alleged rape.

After they dropped the rape charge, police reopened the case against Marchese.

Following her conviction it emerged she had previously stalked another couple.

They wrote to Dr Falkowski explaining how she became infatuated with the man.

And although they left London to escape, the stalking continued. Marchese even threatened to kidnap their baby.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Dr Jan Falkowski interviewed



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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