Craig David fan challenges contact ban after claiming she was his girlfriend

An obsessive Craig David fan who stalked the star for five years because she thought she was his girlfriend wants to challenge a court order barring her from contacting him.

Tanya Jeal, 31, from Orpington, has been banned from contacting the ‘7 Days’ star by Highbury Corner Magistrates Court under a harassment protection order.

Craig David. Photo: Phil Lee

A previous hearing was told that Jeal, an author, showed up at the singer’s home and repeatedly rang his intercom system while holding up a picture of the couple taken more than five years ago.

It is claimed she contacted the 40-year-old musician’s parents, booked into the same hotel as him and stood motionless in front of the stage at a recent concert while holding the same photo of the couple.

Mr David said she once posted ‘I know you love me’ on Snapchat and even used fire escapes to reach her hotel room and obsessively knock on her door.

She also bombarded her management team with abusive messages, likening her situation to the conservatorship of Britney Spears.

Court documents said: “The harassment and harassment began in 2016 when Mr David became aware of a fan who was obsessed and smitten with Mr David.

Orpington's Tanya Jeal has appealed her restraining order against Craig David
Orpington’s Tanya Jeal has appealed her restraining order against Craig David

“Jeal would call Mr David her boyfriend on social media despite him not being.

“Mr David could see on social media that she would be staying at the same hotel as him waiting for him to leave and arrive every day.

“Mr David explains that Jeal was using false pretenses and going through the emergency exits to get to her hotel room, where she repeatedly knocked on her door without invitation or consent.

“She posted a note under her door saying, ‘I hope Budda deals with liars like you, Budda will take this from here, you’re a ********, from Tanya, your girlfriend.

“Jeal also took a picture of her bedroom and sent it to her on SnapChat. She said on Snapchat ‘I know you love me.’

Mr. David was upset and "quite emotional" about the situation
Mr David was upset and ‘quite moved’ by the situation

“In November 2021, Mr David performed a concert in Bedford and explains that Jeal was in the front row and stood still for the whole show wearing sunglasses and holding a photo of herself and Mr David from 2016.

“Mr David says he had this picture with her so he could show security who it was.

“Later that month, she showed up at his address unannounced and repeatedly rang an intercom system while holding up a picture of herself and Mr David.

“After leaving the address, she then returned a second time later that day to call the intercom system again several times.

“Other than that, Jeal has sent abusive messages to Mr David’s management team as they believe they are under similar scrutiny to Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse.

“There is a reasonable ground to believe that you pose a risk associated with the harassment of another person and there is a reasonable ground to believe that the proposed order is necessary to protect another person from such a risk.”

Appearing in the same court via video link from her suburban home in Orpington on Thursday, she told a district judge she wanted to challenge the order, which is a civil matter, but did not clearly explain why.

The court heard that she suffered from physical and mental health issues, but they were not further explained.

She wants to call the musician, who did not attend the hearing, as a live witness when she challenges the order in a court hearing, for which a date has not been set.

Flora Curtis, representing the Metropolitan Police, said the singer did not need to be called as a witness as all of his evidence is contained in a statement.

“Jeal was in the front row and remained still throughout the show, wearing sunglasses and holding a photo of herself and Mr. David…”

She said: “He would be very distressed and would find it emotionally difficult to be in the same room with her and especially to be asked questions by her.”

Prosecutor and attorney Robert Kain, who did not formally appear on behalf of an unrepresented Jeal, spent the remainder of the 20-minute hearing dealing with administrative matters, setting dates for service of the affidavit bundles of witnesses.

District Judge Alexander Jacobs said another case management hearing will be held on March 12 and no date has been set for the full hearing.

As the hearing was about to end, Jeal, without consulting lawyers, attempted to have reporting restrictions imposed. But this offer was immediately rejected by the judge.

David, who is a judge on ITV talent show Walk The Line, received an MBE from Prince Charles for his services to music on the same day the order was imposed last month.

He shot to fame in 1999 after appearing on Artful Dodger’s single Re-Rewind.

The following year, he released his debut album Born to Do It, which sold 7.5 million copies worldwide and became one of the best-selling albums by a British R&B artist of all time. The Southampton-born star has since released five more albums.

Jeal wrote a novel called Trophy Hunting, It’s Killing Business.

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