United Kingdom

London businesswoman, 53, admits harassing her MoD worker ex-lover and his fiancee

Zoe Phillips from Chelsea, west London, sent Ministry of Defence worker Neil Cross 60 WhatsApps and emails and threatened to kill herself, a court heard

A businesswoman who bombarded her ex-lover and his fiancee with messages after he announced his engagement in a newspaper has admitted harassing the couple.

Zoe Phillips from Chelsea, west London, sent Ministry of Defence worker Neil Cross 60 WhatsApps and emails and threatened to kill herself, a court heard.

The 53-year-old went to Mr Cross's fiancee's work and fired off messages to her company email account after 'following her ex around all evening' at a charity ball.

The brand manager contacted Major Harry Wallace on Facebook after the victim blocked her on social media to use the army officer as her 'conduit' to Mr Cross.

She begged the high-ranking officer to help her get in touch with her old flame in a series of 'very long' messages.

Phillips, a brand manager for Nestle and Biogen, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court today wearing a navy blue pencil skirt and a suit jacket.

She sat outside the dock because she was 'nervous', having previously denied both counts of harassment.

But today her lawyer Aneurin Brewer advised her to change her plea and Phillips admitted the allegations.

The 53-year-old went to Mr Cross's fiancee's work and fired off messages to her company email account after 'following her ex around all evening' at a charity ball, Westminster Magistrates' Court (pictured) heard

Mr Brewer said: 'She is perhaps understandably quite nervous of being in that space considering the current problems.'

Prosecutor Misba Majid said at an earlier hearing: 'This matter goes back to January 2019.

'The alleged complainant Neil Cross was in fact in a very short relationship with the suspect and he sets out in his statement going on four dates with the suspect when the decision was made to render that short relationship in January 2019 and they should in fact be friends.

Phillips, a brand manager for Nestle and Biogen, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court today wearing a navy blue pencil skirt and a suit jacket (pictured)

'This was communicated to the suspect by Mr Cross and that agreement was made. However the crown's case is in February Mr Cross had organised a charity ball which Ms Phillips in fact attended.

'During the course of that ball she followed him round all evening. He explained she did not want her to follow him and she responded by simply continuing.

'Again he explained he did not want to attend those events, initially ignoring the invitations, but then communicating he didn't want to attend and he had in fact entered into a new relationship.

'He communicated to her in March that he had entered into relationship with Ms Williams.

'Throughout 1 May to 31 December 2019 he received a number of texts and emails from Ms Phillips.

'There were a number of WhatsApp messages talking about their relationship and her apologising about contacting him and making reference to the fact that she would take her life describing how much she still likes him.

'I'm summarising as there are about 45 texts but the general nature is that she's upset about the new relationship and unhappy about him blocking and unblocking her.

'She was blocked but then contacted him through different avenues on his work email address, that being a Ministry of Defence email address and giving Mr Cross great difficulty to get her blocked from that address having received all those emails.

'On 4 October 2019 Ms Phillips had gone on to send a further 15 emails in a row and on that same day he received a number of telephone calls from an unknown number.

'They announced their engagement in the Telegraph and Ms Phillips in fact commented on that on the website making reference to the fact that she was still in love with Mr Cross and was not happy about the end of their relationship.'

District Judge Nicholas Rimmer today told Phillips she would remain on conditional bail, ordering her not to contact either of the alleged victims or Major Wallace.

She is also banned from attending any Ministry of Defence establishment.

Phillips admitted two counts of harassment without violence. She will return to court for sentencing on July 30.

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