LONDON: A black cab driver admitted to harassing Jemima Khan, the former wife of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, by calling her more than 1,000 times and sending 203 messages.
Hassan Mahhmood, 27, is said to have obtained the 43-year-old journalist and campaigner’s phone number when she booked a ride through a ride-hailing app.
His barrister, Umar Ali, said Mahhmood was a big fan of Khan because of her marriage to his hero, Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan.
Khan, who is the daughter of late billionaire entrepreneur Sir James Goldsmith and the sister of MP Zac Goldsmith, agreed to a photograph with Mahhmood after he picked up her and friends from a jazz club on 16 June 2016.
Over the course of a year, Mahhmood sent 203 text messages, called 1,182 times, and sent Whatsapp messages, begging to be Ms Khan’s friend and telling her that he loved her.
Prosecutor Rukhsana Naseer said the taxi driver told Khan that he loved her, wanted to know her and asked her why he could not be friends with her.
The prosecutor said he was totally obsessed with her and wanted to meet her to the extent the last two text messages in July 2017 consist of him wanting to come and visit her.
Mahhmood, from Waltham Forest, northeast London, pleaded guilty to a charge of harassment, which carries a six month maximum jail term, but denied the more serious charge of stalking Khan which was allowed to lie on file.
Khan said the incident has made me incredibly anxious at times. I would be home alone and he would call me several times and text repeatedly late at night.
“Sometimes he would send texts saying he would come to my house. That really frightened me.” She added “I feel extremely vulnerable and scared as a single woman. As a result I’m planning to move house.
“He seems to have become increasingly unstable and unpredictable. I’m worried about what he will do.”Mahhmood’s lawyer said none of the messages had been of a threatening nature.
The court adjourned the sentencing to October 26.