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Man admits stalking female stranger

A Southampton man has admitted stalking and using offensive words to a woman he did not know.

Damon Deroza, 40, approached Gizelle Lightbourne on several occasions over the summer, making unusual and lewd remarks, until she reported the matter to Hamilton Police Station on September 2.

Deroza first approached Ms Lightbourne on an unspecified weekday morning in late June, when she was taking her daughter to Warwick Preschool.

The Granaway Lane resident approached her car and began a conversation as though the two knew one another, which made her nervous. The defendant said that he had been thinking about her, and asked if she lived in the area. On August 28, Ms Lightbourne was jogging shortly after 7pm when Deroza pulled up behind her on a cycle, said “I’ve been looking for you” and asked if he could touch her body.

Deroza then told a scared Ms Lightbourne that he wanted to take her for a ride, and that they could go and see the children that they had together.

When the complainant told Deroza that they did not have any children together, he became angry and made a lewd comment to her, before apologising for cheating on her as she walked away.

She broke out into a run, at which point he expressed disbelief that she would not let him see their children, and told her that he knew where she lived.

After calling her eldest child to explain the precarious situation, Ms Lightbourne was eventually taken home by a family member — although she and her children spent the night elsewhere.

Yesterday in Magistrates’ Court, it was revealed that Deroza had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and that he was on parole for a previous conviction.

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo ordered a Social Inquiry Report and a psychiatric report on the defendant, and adjourned sentencing until October 25.

He released Deroza on $5,000 bail with a like surety, and instructed him to attend mental health court each week starting this Thursday. Mr Tokunbo also ordered the defendant to have no contact with Ms Lightbourne, or go within 300 yards of her home or Warwick Preschool, where she had seen him loitering on multiple occasions.

• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.