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Former weekly journalist given stalking prevention order

graham-smith-cornwallA former weekly journalist who sent unwanted letters, birthday cards and Christmas gifts to a family has been given a five-year stalking prevention order.

Graham Smith, pictured, worked for Reach plc title the Cornish Guardian from 2014 until 2016 and was also a high-profile on-screen journalist with Westcountry Television and the BBC.

Smith, who is also the chair of St Mabyn Parish Council in Cornwall, was said to have sent a family in Oxfordshire numerous unwanted letters, a parcel, Christmas card and a birthday card through the post.

Truro Magistrates Court granted a request for the stalking prevention order from Devon and Cornwall Police against Smith, of Station Road, St Mabyn, Bodmin.

The request was granted after magistrates decided Smith poses a “risk associated with stalking to another person and there is reasonable cause to believe the proposed order is necessary to protect another from such a risk in accordance with section one of the Stalking Protection Act 2019″.

The order bans him from having any contact with a woman, her husband and their children or from entering the village of Cholsey in South Oxfordshire.

Smith was warned that failure to comply with any term of the order is a criminal offence, for which he could be sentenced to prison or detention.

The 68-year-old began his career on the Cambridge News in 1976, and has also worked at the Falmouth Packet as the editor of its then Smallholder magazine.

Since 2016, he has run his own local news website, Cornwall Reports, after being sacked from Reach for “experimenting” with the venture as a side project in opposition to the company’s own platform, Cornwall Live.

He had initially set up the site with a view to providing what he termed “proper news” after being asked to write what he claimed was “trivial clickbait.”