London - It began like Shirley Valentine – a mother seeking solace in a holiday romance on an idyllic island.
But what initially seemed like a sweet but short-lived connection with a Greek gift shop manager soon became a living nightmare.
For on the 54-year-old widow’s return home she faced a relentless campaign of stalking, harassment and intimidation from her suitor, a court heard.
Georgios Katsikidis followed the woman back to the UK, where he had an ex-wife and two children in Birmingham, and embarked on a five-month crusade to keep her in his life. But his efforts turned sour, and when his victim tried to dump him he threatened to send explicit pictures of her to her late husband’s family, Norwich Crown Court heard.
In January he kept her prisoner in her home for two hours, before fleeing back to Greece. There he was arrested and extradited back to the UK on an arrest warrant.
Katsikidis, 39, admitted stalking, false imprisonment, common assault and intimidation. He was jailed for 16 months.
The court was told that the woman, who has not been named, left her home in Norfolk to go on holiday to the island of Skiathos two months after her husband died in August 2016. Prosecutor John Morgans told the court: ‘She did not want any kind of relationship at that stage.
‘She felt it too soon after the death of her husband but he seemed very attentive and she was grateful for the distraction.’
The court heard that although the pair had started to meet occasionally back in the UK, the woman had been concerned from the start about Katsikidis’s intensity.
He would message her up to 125 times a day and even call her pretending he was in hospital to get her attention, the court heard.
Robin Howard, in mitigation, said Katsikidis had ‘lost his head over a love affair’ and was ‘deeply and utterly ashamed’.
Judge David Goodin also gave him a restraining order banning him from contacting his victim or being in Norfolk.
‘You made her life a misery with features, frankly, of a teenage obsession,’ the judge said.
‘The effects upon her were vast – leaving her home and making changes to her daily life purely to avoid you.
‘This wasn’t simply a question of unrequited love and heartsick pestering. It turned to most unpleasant threats and to violence.’