A Matthew Wright ‘super fan’ has been handed a restraining order after admitting to stalking the star and his wife for six months.
Michelle Ranicar, 53, admitted one count of stalking to cause serious alarm or distress between November and May 2018 at Wood Green Crown Court in October.
A regular audience member for The Wright Stuff, Ranicar described herself as a “super-fan” of the star in an interview in 2016.
A court heard how Ranicar followed Wright home after he left the Channel 5 studio where he previously worked and sent him messages on social media.
According to the charges, Ranicar stalked Wright – who previously worked for TalkRadio – and his wife Amelia, who he married in 2010.
Ranicar’s stalking “had an adverse effect on Matthew and Amelia Wright’s day-to-day activities”, the court heard, and she “knew or ought to have known her course of conduct would cause alarm or distress”.
Appearing in court in October, Ranicar spoke only to confirm her name and guilty plea and was bailed on conditions not to contact the couple, including through social media, or to attend their address in north west London.
Appearing on the Lorraine Kelly show after the guilty plea, Matthew and his wife Amelia opened up about their ordeal for the first time.
Amelia fought back tears as she opened up on the “emotional scarring”, and revealed some of the distress she was put through.
She told host Lorraine Kelly that while heavily pregnant, the woman taunted her about the risks of experiencing a stillbirth, and when Cassidy was born she apparently appeared outside the family’s home asking to hold the baby.
After being banned from his show, Matthew claimed the woman turned up at a charity auction they were attending and tracked them down.
Amelia tearfully recalled: “I was heavily pregnant and she said to me, ‘women of your age are more likely to have a stillbirth’, I was shocked to my core.”
Matthew added: “I clocked her talking to Amelia. I ran off the stage and grabbed Amelia, and we went home a different route so she wouldn’t be able to find us, but she had our address.”
Just days later when Amelia was home alone, she revealed the woman returned and told her she would find out which maternity ward she would be on, and wait for her and the baby.
The police became involved, with Matthew praising their help, but after the birth the lady returned.
Amelia continued: “She was trying to put her hand in the letterbox asking for the baby.”
The new mum would suffer panic attacks as a result of the ordeal, and was too scared to leave the house in case her daughter was snatched.
“It takes over your life,” Matthew revealed before Amelia confessed the longstanding effects it has had on her mental health.
She revealed: “It’s cast a long shadow over me, I am still shaken by the whole thing and feel upset. Obviously, I hope help is given but it’s left me emotionally scarred.”