No jail for 'disturbed' Burnley stalker

Lancashire Telegraph: Graeme Hannigan Graeme Hannigan

A STALKER who harassed a woman and her two daughters over almost two decades, leaving them living in fear, was spared immediate jail.

Burnley magistrates had heard how Graeme Hannigan, 43, was said to have spied on Anne Brierley and Lisa Wilkinson, posted information about their movements on Facebook and persistently monitored their internet use over almost two months earlier this year.

He had also taken a photograph from one of his victim's accounts on the social networking site and put it on his own.

The hearing had been told how the defendant's campaign started in 1996, when he had become obsessed with Mrs Brierley’s other daughter Carrie-Ann, then 17, when she worked at a cinema in Brierfield.

He had bombarded her with letters, was eventually traced and went on to be convicted of making threats to kill, at Burnley Crown Court.

The court had been told how nothing then happened for some years and Carrie-Ann emigrated to Australia and married.

Hannigan, who had then acquired a ‘vast amount of details’ about Carrie-Ann and her new life, had made entries on her Facebook page.

He even contacted her place of work and claimed she was an illegal immigrant. He was cautioned for harassment after police were informed.

Hannigan, of Brownhill Avenue, Burnley, had admitted stalking Mrs Brierley and Lisa Wilkinson at Burnley, on or between April 21 and June 15, this year. The bench had adjourned for psychiatric reports. Hannigan's solicitor had told the court the defendant had been found to have Aarskog-Scott syndrome.

Hannigan was given eight weeks in custody, suspended for 18 months, with an 18-month restraining order, banning contact with the family. He will also be under probation supervision for 12 months.

Mrs Brierley had told police: “He’s a disturbed individual. I am really terrified where this may end up going.”

Daniel Frazer, for Hannigan, had told the hearing: “He can't necessarily see the outcome of his behaviour.”

Comments (16)

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3:26pm Fri 20 Dec 13

AlifromIsrael says...

Yet another fruit cake.

He should be sent to prison, this family have suffered enough, already.
Now they know he is still walking the streets of Burnley.
Yet another fruit cake. He should be sent to prison, this family have suffered enough, already. Now they know he is still walking the streets of Burnley. AlifromIsrael

3:43pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Malthus says...

This judgement appears to be a green light to stalkers, bullies and people who harass others. Do those that pass such sentences not think that two decades of abuse does not merit a more punitive tariff?
This judgement appears to be a green light to stalkers, bullies and people who harass others. Do those that pass such sentences not think that two decades of abuse does not merit a more punitive tariff? Malthus

4:07pm Fri 20 Dec 13

andy1 says...

His condition is not of mental health issues but the following. http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Aarskog%E2%
80%93Scott_syndrome
His condition is not of mental health issues but the following. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Aarskog%E2% 80%93Scott_syndrome andy1

4:13pm Fri 20 Dec 13

drunken donut says...

The graveyards are full of the victims of nutters like this who the courts deem to be safe to release into the world at large.
The graveyards are full of the victims of nutters like this who the courts deem to be safe to release into the world at large. drunken donut

4:17pm Fri 20 Dec 13

HarryBosch says...

Hospital Order might have been more appropriate!
Hospital Order might have been more appropriate! HarryBosch

4:44pm Fri 20 Dec 13

You're not mugging me off that easily says...

Why has nobody from the victims family simply just filled him in? He might think twice about it next time if he know somebody might open up a can of Jackie Chan happy all over his face !!!
Why has nobody from the victims family simply just filled him in? He might think twice about it next time if he know somebody might open up a can of Jackie Chan happy all over his face !!! You're not mugging me off that easily

6:55pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Biggy12 says...

He should be jailed like any other person would.IF his (mental) condition is a factor in the case,then a secure hospital would be more appropriate.letting him walk from court leaves others in his community open to the same sort of abuse.IF he reoffends the judge should be liable for not sectioning this 'wrong un'.
He should be jailed like any other person would.IF his (mental) condition is a factor in the case,then a secure hospital would be more appropriate.letting him walk from court leaves others in his community open to the same sort of abuse.IF he reoffends the judge should be liable for not sectioning this 'wrong un'. Biggy12

7:18pm Fri 20 Dec 13

timeforcommonsense says...

It's about people who are far removed from the real world telling other 'ivory tower dwellers' there's no room at the HMP Inn, so avoid giving out custodial sentences. Mean time innocent people live in fear because the rights of criminals are considered above the victims. (not in this case but the system in general).
It's about people who are far removed from the real world telling other 'ivory tower dwellers' there's no room at the HMP Inn, so avoid giving out custodial sentences. Mean time innocent people live in fear because the rights of criminals are considered above the victims. (not in this case but the system in general). timeforcommonsense

8:11pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Stone Island: says...

I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that this is WLUV, from the sports pages.
I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that this is WLUV, from the sports pages. Stone Island:

8:24pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Lancs - pensioner says...

If anything happens to this poor family you stupid Magistrates should be jailed, yes the man has problems but the victims MUST come first.
If anything happens to this poor family you stupid Magistrates should be jailed, yes the man has problems but the victims MUST come first. Lancs - pensioner

9:40pm Fri 20 Dec 13

You're not mugging me off that easily says...

Stone Island: wrote:
I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that this is WLUV, from the sports pages.
Ha ha ha
[quote][p][bold]Stone Island:[/bold] wrote: I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that this is WLUV, from the sports pages.[/p][/quote]Ha ha ha You're not mugging me off that easily

4:42am Sat 21 Dec 13

Lancs Away says...

I wouldn't normally judge people from a photograph, but this dude certainly looks like a fruit loop....the victims should have got someone to sort him out on a dark night!
I wouldn't normally judge people from a photograph, but this dude certainly looks like a fruit loop....the victims should have got someone to sort him out on a dark night! Lancs Away

8:39am Sat 21 Dec 13

i.s. says...

This started in 1996 and it's now 2013!!!! 17 years of this family having to put up with this psycho and he got a suspended sentence??? The law is a complete **** and so is the judge that handed out this little slap on the wrist. Is it any wonder that sometimes people take the law into their own hands! Unbelievable
This started in 1996 and it's now 2013!!!! 17 years of this family having to put up with this psycho and he got a suspended sentence??? The law is a complete **** and so is the judge that handed out this little slap on the wrist. Is it any wonder that sometimes people take the law into their own hands! Unbelievable i.s.

11:49am Sat 21 Dec 13

woolywords says...

I wonder if part of the restraining order includes prohibition from using the internet? That would curb his activities, much as it does in the case of terror suspects.
Mind you, I fully expect to see him before the courts within 6 months, as is often the case when suspended sentences are imposed.
I wonder if part of the restraining order includes prohibition from using the internet? That would curb his activities, much as it does in the case of terror suspects. Mind you, I fully expect to see him before the courts within 6 months, as is often the case when suspended sentences are imposed. woolywords

3:31pm Sat 21 Dec 13

Three fingered Ewood fan says...

Looking at the bigger picture, a stint in prison would probably not have the desired effect on this occasion. He clearly has some deep rooted social, mental and physical problems and a stint in prison would be tantamount to a lamb to the wolves. If prevention and rehabilitation is what we are considering to be our aim on this occasion, then what he really needs is help and some form of support.

Stepping into his shoes, it must be quite tough to lead an existence without any friends, a girlfriend or maybe even family, and that's without having to carry the cross of Aarskog-Scott syndrome. Remaining positive and friendly could prove difficult when faced with such a burden. Another thing which the judge would of considered is whether he works and whether he lives alone. Finding employment is already difficult and you can imagine that someone like Mr Hannigan would have additional barriers to overcome . Would 4 weeks in prison followed by a period of being destitute and jobless really benefit anyone?

This really is his last chance. I hope he realises what is at stake and can move forward. I also hope that he leaves these people alone and finds someone who would appreciate his attention.
Looking at the bigger picture, a stint in prison would probably not have the desired effect on this occasion. He clearly has some deep rooted social, mental and physical problems and a stint in prison would be tantamount to a lamb to the wolves. If prevention and rehabilitation is what we are considering to be our aim on this occasion, then what he really needs is help and some form of support. Stepping into his shoes, it must be quite tough to lead an existence without any friends, a girlfriend or maybe even family, and that's without having to carry the cross of Aarskog-Scott syndrome. Remaining positive and friendly could prove difficult when faced with such a burden. Another thing which the judge would of considered is whether he works and whether he lives alone. Finding employment is already difficult and you can imagine that someone like Mr Hannigan would have additional barriers to overcome . Would 4 weeks in prison followed by a period of being destitute and jobless really benefit anyone? This really is his last chance. I hope he realises what is at stake and can move forward. I also hope that he leaves these people alone and finds someone who would appreciate his attention. Three fingered Ewood fan

11:54am Mon 23 Dec 13

noddy57 says...

AlifromIsrael wrote:
Yet another fruit cake.

He should be sent to prison, this family have suffered enough, already.
Now they know he is still walking the streets of Burnley.
yes he should have been sent to prison but as so often happens in this liberal society of ours it will probably take an arson attack or an attempt on their lives god forbid before he is taken seriously as a threat,,a decade or two ago this chap would have been in one of our many large care facilities but they have all but gone,
[quote][p][bold]AlifromIsrael[/bold] wrote: Yet another fruit cake. He should be sent to prison, this family have suffered enough, already. Now they know he is still walking the streets of Burnley.[/p][/quote]yes he should have been sent to prison but as so often happens in this liberal society of ours it will probably take an arson attack or an attempt on their lives god forbid before he is taken seriously as a threat,,a decade or two ago this chap would have been in one of our many large care facilities but they have all but gone, noddy57

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