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Ipswich teenager tells of harassment

PUBLISHED: 19:00 22 May 2004 | UPDATED: 04:54 02 March 2010

AN IPSWICH teenager has today spoken of the nightmare she endured during and after a relationship with the father of a speedway rider.

Raymond Nicholls, 53, admitted harassing Lisa Meredith last year after their two year relationship ended stating, "I've been a pudding.

AN IPSWICH teenager has today spoken of the nightmare she endured during and after a relationship with the father of a speedway rider.

Raymond Nicholls, 53, admitted harassing Lisa Meredith last year after their two year relationship ended stating, "I've been a pudding."

Father of Scott, Nicholls, of Foxhall Road, Ipswich, was fined £200 and imposed a 12-month restraining order forbidding Nicholls from contacting Miss Meredith by Lowestoft magistrates yesterday.

Speaking after the case Miss Meredith, now 19, said: "My parents marriage broke up when I was younger and I guess I found a new father figure in Raymond.

"The relationship started after he got me free racing merchandise and took me to his house to see more of it.

"I had kept the relationship secret from my family and he told me that if I broke up with him he would tell my mum all about it."

The relationship became more complex when Miss Meredith found out Nicholls was also dating her 23-year-old sister, Donna, between September to December 2001 when he was also with her.

Both sisters spoke of a van that Nicholls owned and would take them out in. The van had a mattress in the back.

Nicholls denied a separate allegation of harassment in relation to Donna Meredith who set up a fan club for his speedway ace son, and the magistrates decided there was no case to answer.

Lisa Meredith said: "He was too possessive over me and just wouldn't stop. I finally broke up with him in May last year when I told my mum all about it. From that moment on we were plagued with phone calls from him wanting to see me.

"We changed all of the family's phone numbers but somehow he would still get hold of them.

"He would also drive here and stop outside wanting to see me and if I refused he would speak to my friends and try to get them to talk me into seeing him.

"I have been off work for a year now as I fear leaving the house. I am on anti-depressants and have to attend anxiety management classes."

Miss Meredith said she wanted to warn other girls about Nicholls in the hope that the same thing would not happen to anyone else.

She added: "I regret what I done and I think I was very gullible but I just want to make sure that none of the other girls who go to speedway fall into the same trap.

"He is an obsessive man and I wouldn't want anyone else to have to suffer the way I have."

During the court case, Nicholls' solicitor Christine Hayes said: "Nicholls has put it very simply and said he was a prat. He deeply regretted it, not least because of the pain it caused his wife."

She added Nicholls' wife of 33 years, Georgina, had cancer and he had been at "a very low ebb" when what was described as "a silly infatuation" had occurred.

"Obviously he's very sorry. He regrets the upset caused to Lisa and from his own point of view he's very sorry it's ever happened at all," said Mrs Hayes.

She told the court it had been "a very bad year" for Nicholls and his son, who had suffered a serious injury.

Speaking after the case, Nicholls said he felt relieved and added: "I have just been a pudding."

"A lot of times I do things without thinking. It has been two years I wished never happened. I think I have learned my lesson."

He did not wish to comment on Lisa Meredith's comments to the Star.

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