Nurse guilty of harassment after scaring colleague via phone texts

Eleanor Chmielewski
Eleanor Chmielewski

A staff nurse sent a colleague harassing text messages and then offered her a shoulder to cry on, Calderdale magistrates heard.

A staff nurse sent a colleague harassing text messages and then offered her a shoulder to cry on, Calderdale magistrates heard.

Eleanor Chmielewski, 47, was found guilty of harassment without violence against Jane Roebuck, of Stainland.

The court was told both women worked at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and around 10 texts were sent between October 22-26, 2012.

Miss Roebuck giving evidence said the first messages stated: “You take the same path every day” and “Nice dog, watch or lose.”

“I felt someone was watching me walk my dog,” said Miss Roebuck, who lives alone.

After the first text she replied to the number which she did not recognise: “You are an idiot don’t text me again.”

The reply came back: “The idiot v the sitting duck.”

“I felt like a sitting duck. It made me feel extremely anxious and frustrated. I was scared,” said Miss Roebuck.

Further texts stated: “Watch your white car brakes” and “Nasty, nasty, telling the Old Bill.”

Miss Roebuck said the latter came after she reported the harassment to police and they sent a message to the phone number.

But, more texts followed about her dog.

“She is your bitch and you are mine,” and the last one: “Don’t go to sleep tonight, bitch.”

The texts stopped after Miss Roebuck changed her number.

Police traced the purchase of the phone and a top-up voucher which was caught on CCTV at Asda, Huddersfield, which was shown to Miss Roebuck and she said: “Oh my God, it’s Ellie.”

Miss Roebuck told the court: “I was shocked. Ellie had been to my house and walked my dog with me.”

When the calls started Miss Roebuck had called Chmielewski.

“Ellie offered help and said if you need someone to speak to you can come to me.”

She did not take up the offer of support.

Chmielewski, of Huddersfield, admitted buying the phone and top-up but claimed she didn’t make any calls.

The court heard she bought the phone for her youngest daughter for her impending visit on October 27 and left it on the kitchen worktop for her to use with her own sim card.

Jane Farrar, prosecuting, said the phone was bought because for some strange reason Chmielewski decided to send the text messages and thought she would be untraceable because she used cash.

Miss Rachel Smith, mitigating, said her client was of good character and had been suspended on full pay since the allegations arose.

Chairman of the bench, Menir Khan, told Chiemelewski her account had not stood up to scrutiny.

“It’s incredible you would top-up a sim which was not going to be used,” he said.

Chmielewski was ordered to undertake 100 hours unpaid community work; pay prosecution costs of £300; a victim surcharge of £60; and made subject of a 12 months restraining order banning her from contacting Miss Roebuck and 100 metres of her home.