A stalker who tried to destroy a musician’s life after they had a one-night stand has been jailed for three years.
Reanne Phillips, 33, accused Franck Kouassi, 30, of being a rapist and paedophile, made false allegations to police and bombarded him with thousands of messages.
The teaching assistant falsely accused Kouassi of fathering a child on the only occasion they slept together. She sent him photos of a baby scan over social media but there is no evidence that she was ever pregnant.
Phillips breached orders preventing her from messaging her victim, turned up at his house and created hundreds of fake social media accounts to contact him, including some that used pictures of his mother.
Kouassi, a singer-songwriter from London, had suicidal thoughts and was prescribed antidepressants as a result of the harassment, the Old Bailey was told. He had to adjust his lifestyle to avoid harassment, changing the time he travelled to and from work and being accompanied by a neighbour.
He told the court he had 4,000 abusive messages on his phone and that Phillips set up at least 900 Instagram accounts to attack him.
Kouassi met Phillips in the street while he was on his way to a radio interview and he chatted her up because he was “cheeky”, the court was told. They exchanged contact details on Snapchat and he suggested they go for a drink in November 2018. They had sex once. Kouassi said they had “normal conversations” on social media afterwards but Phillips became “demanding and aggressive”.
He blocked her but she created Instagram accounts describing him as a rapist and a paedophile. “Social media is my bread and butter as a musician,” he told the court. “I barely knew her. I just didn’t know why she was going to these extremes. I had done nothing to this individual. I had never disrespected her. I was clearly dealing with someone who was obsessed. Sometimes she would send a lot of messages which I just had to ignore, sometimes I was getting maybe 50 messages a day. I noticed a few accounts on Instagram calling me a rapist and a paedophile. All my friends and associates were also receiving abuse.”
Phillips, from Wembley, northwest London, was given a harassment warning in February 2019 but the next day she went to the police claiming that the musician had tried to strangle her. Kouassi was arrested but no further action was taken.
Phillips continued to harass him and in November 2019 he went to the police.
Michael Peters, for the prosecution, told the court: “She sent him a picture with a baby in a cot and said: ‘My baby daddy is a liar’.” In fact Phillips has never had a child, the court heard.
Last July Phillips told police that the musician had sexually assaulted her on the night they had sex.
Phillips was convicted after a retrial of stalking between December 2019 and July last year. Judge Anne Molyneux sentenced her to three years in prison on Friday, describing her behaviour as a “campaign of harassment” that “was intended to maximise fear and distress”.
A friend said that Kouassi was in the Ivory Coast trying to recover. “This has been very difficult for him as all his friends and family have been targeted by this woman too,” said the friend. “We understand that other men have also been victims so we hope this case gives them some hope.”
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