25 Sep

College tutor driven to brink of suicide as female stalker accused him

Her campaign of harassment escalated after she suspected Mr Rice, who was working as a tutor at DV8 College in Brighton, had started a relationship with work colleague, Sarah Bolland.She began bombarding Miss Bolland with abusive phone calls and emails at the college demanding she stop seeing Mr Rice.Miss Bolland, who was not romantically involved with Mr Rice, was devastated by the abusive calls.On one occasion Tantash called her and in an expletive-ridden rant told her to stay away from Mr Rice, threatening to kill her if she did. In another call she said she would kill herself if Miss Boland saw, dated or got sexually involved with the tutor.Miss Boland was also called ugly by Tantash, who said she “looked like a horse”, had “disgusting frizzy hair, skin like curdled yoghurt and buck teeth” She told the innocent college worker that she hoped she had a “heartbroken, horrid end”.Tantash also sent abusive emails from several anonymous accounts to friends, family and work colleagues demanding Mr Rice’s mobile number, his home address and other details. She bombarded one colleague with 137 phone calls in one evening asking that he hand over Mr Rice’s mobile phone number and even offered him £1,500 for the information.On the evening of an open night at DV8 College, Tantash ordered around £200 of takeaway pizzas and had them delivered to the college.She was eventually arrested and charged with one count of stalking Mr Rice between July 2015 – February 2018 and one count of stalking Miss Bolland.She was convicted after a trial at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.In a victim impact statement Mr Rice said the campaign of stalking left him on the brink of suicide and had been in “despair”.He said: “For over 10 years I’ve had to live with verbal, mental and physical abuse. The aggressive and abusive dismantling of my life has left me vulnerable, frightened and exhausted.”Mr Rice added he had been “pushed deep into depression” saying: “At my worst I have gone through periods of despair with suicide ideation.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A college tutor was driven to the brink of suicide after he was stalked by an obsessed former lover who accused him of breaking a “love contract”. Lina Tantash, 43, embarked on a “sinister and sustained” campaign against Jarlath Rice, 50, bombarding him with emails and messages and demanding he see her.After Mr Rice broke up with Tantash, he moved from Dublin to Brighton, only for his former girlfriend to follow him to England.She contacted his friends, family and work colleagues, hired a private detective to track him down and even ordered hundreds of pounds of takeaway pizza to his office in an attempt to get his attention after their relationship broke down.She accused Mr Rice of breaching a 21-clause deal in which she loaned him up to £50,000 in return for him signing a “love contract”.The pair had a brief relationship before Mr Rice ended it after a few weeks when Tantash began to make demands.When she continued to contact him he told her he no longer wanted a relationship with her and asked her to leave him alone.But she refused, saying he owned her more than €50,000 and drew up a “love contract” which stipulated he should stop denying they were in a relationship.  Jarlath Rice In her defence, Tantash said she came from a stable, upper-middle class family but was suffering from a mental condition.She claimed to have paid Mr Rice’s sizeable debts and supported his career in return for a romantic commitment.Miss Bolland said: “It’s a strange and terrible experience when someone psychologically harasses you like this. It’s an awful feeling. It’s astonishing how much it can impact your life, your mood, your thoughts.”Teresa Mulrooney, defending, said: “Miss Tantash deeply regrets her behaviour and has come to understand the impact it has had.”On Thursday, Jordanian-born Tantash was sentenced four years in prison after she was convicted of two counts of stalking.As she was sentenced her mother broke down in court and begged the judge for mercy for her daughter.Lewes Crown Court heard the saga began in 2007 when the “highly intelligent” university-educated project manager met Mr Rice, a 50-year-old Irish filmmaker, when they were both working in Dublin in 2007.Sentencing her, Recorder Stephen Lennard, said: “You were never prepared to accept it was over and thereafter carried out a sustained and vicious campaign of stalking and harassment that lasted 10 years.“In my opinion you are vicious, devious and manipulative woman. You should be thoroughly ashamed of what you have done to Mr Rice and Miss Bolland.” It also stated he should live with her three days a week, speak to her on the phone for at least 15 minutes every evening and be nice to her.Mr Rice desperately fought to escape her attentions and eventually moved from Dublin to Brighton where he started work as a college tutor on the south coast.But Tantash, then a “highly-respected” project manager at prestigious Trinity College Dublin, followed him to England, taking up a new role in London.  Jarlath Rice He also handed her a restraining order.

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