A 36-YEAR-OLD man who stalked a female bank clerk for 10 months and spat at an assistant manager in Cirencester has been sentenced.

Benedict Gryspeerdt has pleaded guilty to a charge of assault - the spitting incident - on May 9 last year and to stalking a woman between August 1, 2022 and April 15, 2023.

Gryspeerdt formerly resided at a property in Beech Road, Cirencester, but currently resides at Wotton Lawn Mental Health Hospital. 

A bank clerk became increasingly worried by Gryspeerdt's erratic behaviour towards her over a 10-month period in Cirencester, Gloucester Crown Court was told.

She was terrified when Gryspeerdt handed her a note signed Deathcrush 666 - which she discovered was the name of a song about kidnap, torture and death by Norwegian black metal band Mayhem.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Benedict GryspeerdtBenedict Gryspeerdt (Image: Glos Police)

Prosecutor Simon Goodman said the victim first met Gryspeerdt in 2017 or 2018 when he walked into the branch.

“Gryspeerdt told the woman, that he had just escaped from a mental hospital and warned her not to tell anyone,” said Mr Goodman.

“Over time, Gryspeerdt became a regular customer and he began making unusual comments to her. 

“His odd behaviour intensified in August last year when he started telling her she was beautiful and said he would like to buy some flowers for her. 

“He told her on a subsequent visit that it was dangerous for her to look into his eyes and suggested to go out for a drink. 

"In November Gryspeerdt’s actions got progressively worse and he began to make derogatory remarks to her.

"Gryspeerdt then changed tack and accused the bank of stealing money from him. 

“At the end of 2022 Gryspeerdt went into the branch enquiring after his account balance.

"He started claiming that the woman was his girlfriend and she had taken money from his account. 

“At the beginning of this year, he was still coming into the branch and shouted her name as he walked through the doors and by this time she was actively hiding from him. 

"The woman became so fearful of Gryspeerdt that she stopped walking to and from her car alone.

"Gryspeerdt returned to the bank on May 9 and was told by one of the cashiers that his bank account had been closed due to insufficient funds.

“He demanded his money back and accused the assistant bank manager of lying.

"Gryspeerdt was then heard making noises in his throat before spitting at the assistant manager, but the mucus only landed on the table.”

Sarah Jenkins, defending, said: “This case has been delayed to establish if Gryspeerdt was mentally fit enough to plead, and he has now admitted both charges. 

“However, in his mind his actions were not what he understands as stalking, but he admits that his actions were akin to harassment. 

"He has technically been remanded for some time now and I feel that the guidelines would suggest that he has already served any sentence that the court could impose.”

The case was heard at Gloucester Crown Court on Monday, November 13.

Judge Rupert Lowe sentenced Gryspeerdt to a prison term of 29 weeks, but said that because he had already served that whilst on remand he would be released.

A five-year restraining order was imposed banning Gryspeerdt from contacting his victim or entering Cricklade Street in Cirencester during banking hours.