- Joe McElderry says Ennis McBride, 53, turned up outside his home on Christmas Eve last year
- Told court he felt 'creeped out' after being 'harassed' by man from Stockport
- McBride claimed he was trying to contact singer to 'interest him in opera'
- Stalker found guilty and given five-year restraining order preventing him from contacting the singer or his mother
By Anna Edwards
PUBLISHED: 09:11 EST, 11 September 2012 | UPDATED: 11:53 EST, 11 September 2012
Guilty: Ennis McBride harassed X-Factor winner Joe McElderry and his mother Eileen Joyce in 2009
A stalker of X Factor winner Joe McElderry has been convicted of harassment today.
Ennis McBride, 53, was found guilty at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court after the pop singer gave evidence during the trial.
McElderry spoke of his ordeal after he was left feeling scared and intimidated by the man who stalked him and his mother.
McBride was today given a five-year restraining order preventing him from contacting the singer or his mother, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £915 costs.
The court heard that McBride, from Stockport, who denied the charge, turned up at McElderry's house on more than one occasion, waited outside his home on Christmas Eve and sent him abusive tweets.
But McBride insisted all he was trying to do was get the singer interested in opera.
It was said that on September 11 last year McBride knocked on McElderry's front door while he was having a bath.
A friend answered the door and said the singer, who won the talent contest in 2009, was not available.
McBride then went round to the singer's old house and spoke to McElderry's mother, Eileen Joyce, and accused Joe of being a liar.
Describing the incident, McElderry said: 'I was feeling quite shaken and confused, and a bit creeped out.
'My mum sounded very alarmed and distressed and told me to lock the doors.'
The court heard that on December 24 last year Ms Joyce saw McBride in Asda and later that day he turned up outside their home, before he was arrested.
McElderry said: 'My mum rang and said the stalker is back and he's in Asda.
'She sounded really upset but she was more concerned where I was and if I was with anyone.
'After that I went and locked the door.
'We spent the evening writing out our statement when suddenly a police van pulled up and he was put into the van.
'I felt intimidated that someone would be standing in the dark outside my house and scared because it was Christmas Eve and it was the last thing I wanted to think about.
'I understand that I'm on the public platform and I appreciate the support I get but I don't think I should be made to feel unsafe in my own home.'
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Joe McElderry says he was intimidated by McBride, who was arrested outside his home on Christmas Eve last year
The court heard that in November last year McBride appeared at one of McElderry's concerts and sat on the front row.
McElderry said: 'I started the second last show and the same person who had been to my house was sitting on the front row and was staring at me.
'I was really scared and anxious and a bit taken aback.
'At the end of the show I always go along the front row and meet the fans, but as I approached the man I leaned forward, but he did not stand up like the rest of the audience.
'I had not felt threatened in that way until he came.'
Giving evidence McElderry's mother Eileen Joyce said she felt anxious and bewildered when McBride appeared on her doorstep in September last year.
She said: 'I was moving some furniture to a new house and a guy came and knocked on the door and asked where Joe was.
'I asked who he was and he said that was irrelevant.
'He said Joe was a liar and he had his best friend lying for him.
'I felt really anxious and I asked him to move off the doorstep. I felt nervous and bewildered.'
McBride said he just wanted to pass X Factor winner Joe McElderry some opera CDs
McBride, a part-time PhD student with a degree in psychology and philosophy and another in counter fraud and criminal justice, denied he intended to cause McElderry and his mother alarm.
He told the court: 'I am a music lover and a musician myself. I was a fan of his from when I first saw him on X Factor.'
After attending a McElderry concert in Brighton in 2010, McBride passed 50 opera CDs in a box with a note to a venue employee and asked they be passed on to the singer.
'It was rather presumptuous, I thought they would benefit his singing as a pop singer if he became acquainted with opera,' he said.
'His voice is one that could take on that challenge.'
Later, he checked whether the singer had received the discs and his management told McBride that McElderry could not remember receiving them.
Following further correspondence with managers in which he was told McElderry had received the CDs, McBride became convinced he was not being told the truth.
He explained he was in South Shields on September 11 last year as he was taking a ferry from North Shields to Holland.
He said he went to McElderry's home at 10am on the Sunday, then his old address where his mother was, to inquire further about the CDs.
Asked if he intended to cause harassment, he replied: 'No, absolutely not. I wouldn't have done that. It would have been counterproductive. I was trying to find out about the CDs.
'I was apologetic about going round there on a Sunday morning.'
McBride said he was in South Shields on Christmas Eve last year as he was again taking a ferry from Tyneside to Holland on Boxing Day.
He was arrested close to McElderry's home, but he claimed he was out for an evening walk.
He explained police found a ski mask at his bed and breakfast because he was going to the German Alps for a holiday after visiting Holland.
He picked the bed and breakfast as it was close to McElderry's home, he said.
'It was convenient, available and it was also near Joe's home,' he told the judge. 'I was hoping, although I had no intention to go round, I might bump into him.'
McBride said he saw Ms Joyce in Asda on Christmas Eve.
'I was doing my shopping and Eileen Joyce approached me,' he said.
'She was walking down the aisle and she was staring at me. She gave me a big smile.
'Obviously I thought that was very odd at the time, given what had happened last time.'
Finding McBride guilty, district Judge Roger Elsey said of McBride: 'He has given evidence but has not been a compelling witness and lacked credibility.
'He totally lacked insight into the impact of his actions on the complainants.'
McElderry was mentored by Cheryl Cole when he competed on the ITV show, and his cover of Miley Cyrus' single 'The Climb' was beaten to the Christmas number one in the charts in 2009 by Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name' song.
Last year he competed in, and won, Popstar to Operastar, where singers learned how to sing opera.
He released his fourth album 'Here's What I Believe' this month.
VIDEO: Joe McElderry chats about going pop...
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