15:29 GMT +316 October 2019
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    British scientist Stephen Hawking arrives for the BAFTA British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Opera House in London on February 8, 2015.

    'Mentally Challenged' Woman Arrested After Years of Stalking Hawking

    © AFP 2019 / Justin Tallis
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    A US women who was stalking British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has been given a suspended sentenced.

    The woman was identified as a 37-year old American, named Jenny Teresa C. Ms Teresa C was arrested on Wednesday, after Mr Hawking's children alerted the police, stating they had received a series of messages that contained death threats that had been sent to their father's email and social media accounts.

    The messages read, "I am going to kill you"; "I am next to you and can kill you." Stephen Hawking was in Tenerife at the time, participating in the first days of the Starmus Science Festival, which started on 27 June 2016.

    "She had been pursuing Mr Hawking throughout the world and in the last few days had sent him grave threats through social media and to his personal email," Spanish police said in a statement.

    Ms Teresa C, had been harassing and staking Stephen Hawking for years, however the situation became untenable on the 28 June 2016 when she sent the messages to the world-renowned scientists.

     The woman was arrested at a hotel near where the science festival was taking place, on 29 June 2016. It is said that the perpetrator is mentally challenged and had refused psychiatric assessment ordered by the court.

    As a result Ms Teresa C was given a four month suspended sentenced and an eight month restraining order, which prevents her from reaching out to Mr Hawking via social media communication. The fact she had no past criminal activity and also pleaded guilty to the charges, went in her favor as the court took this all into account.

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    Tags:
    court case, stalking, stalker, family, astrophysics, arrest, police, threat, science, Stephen Hawking, Spain, United Kingdom
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