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Man who sent his ex-university professor an invitation to their imaginary wedding and booked a registry office is spared jail

A stalker who sent his ex-university professor an invitation to their imaginary wedding and booked a registry office has been spared jail.

Tin Yeung, 28, repeatedly emailed maths lecturer Erengul Dodd – referring to himself as her ‘husband’, her ‘faithful follower’, and ‘dear slave’ – in a ‘sinister’ three-year stalking campaign.

Man who sent his ex-university professor an invitation to their imaginary wedding and booked a registry office is spared jail

It was gathered that the former student turned up at Professor Dodd’s office and in one instance arrived with a bag containing printed-out photos of her six-year-old son taken from her mother’s Facebook page.

Man who sent his ex-university professor an invitation to their imaginary wedding and booked a registry office is spared jail

The ‘deeply traumatised’ Southampton University lecturer had to temporarily move workplaces out of fear Yeung would show up.

Now, magistrates have handed Yeung a restraining order and a suspended prison sentence, saying his ‘serious’ behaviour was ‘just not on’.

Southampton Magistrates Court heard Yeung joined Professor Dodd’s lectures in September 2015 whilst completing his final year of study at the Russell Group institution.

In a statement read to the court, the lecturer whose speciality is Actuarial Mathematics – described Yeung as a ‘good student’ who was ‘often alone’.

Yeung, who now lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, graduated ‘without issue’ in June 2016 as he was one of the ‘better students in the class’, magistrates were told.

Prosecuting, Natalie Angel, added: ‘[Professor Dodd] had no reason to interact with him outside of the professional capacity.’

Man who sent his ex-university professor an invitation to their imaginary wedding and booked a registry office is spared jail

Three years after Yeung graduated, Professor Dodd returned from a lunch break to find her former student standing outside of her office.

The lecturer said hello to him and the court heard Yeung ‘seemed pleased’ with this interaction.

What followed was a three-year campaign of stalking from Yeung towards his former lecturer.

The court heard Professor Dodd would receive ‘confusing’ and ‘frequent’ emails from Yeung – who had referred to himself as ‘your lover’.

Ms Angel told the court these emails were constant and often had ‘different addresses with different styles’.

These emails were often of a ‘sexual nature’ and the prosecutor spoke of one that was signed off with ‘your treacherous, your husband, your faithful follower’.

In one incident, in June 2020, Yeung invited his former lecturer to a marriage ceremony for the two of them. 

The prosecutor told the court: ‘He booked a registry office and sent her an email inviting her to their wedding.’

On several occasions, Yeung showed up uninvited to Professor Dodds’s workplace and she spoke of regularly finding him ‘outside her office door’.

Describing one incident when Yeung showed up in November 2022, Ms Angel said: ‘He was tapping his foot and holding a bag.

‘She immediately felt unsafe and scared. Security came quickly.’

The court heard the bag contained printed-out photos of her and her family – including pictures of her six-year-old son, mother, and sister.

The lecturer realised the pictures had been taken from her mother’s Facebook account.

In an earlier police statement, Professor Dodd said: ‘I have no idea why he contacts me like this.

‘I have never had anything but a professional relationship with him.’

The lecturer said: ‘To me, this person is a former student who I plan to keep in the past.’

Ms Angel said the lecturer was left to feel ‘very worried over an extreme period of time’.

Professor Dodd described Yeung’s advances as ‘delusional’ and ‘disturbing’ and in a victim impact read out to the court, she said: ‘[His actions] caused me to change my place of work temporarily.

‘I have started watching my back in case he is following me. I have found his actions intimidating.’

Referring to Yeung printing photos of her son, Professor Dodd said it left her feeling ‘anxious and shocked’.

She added: ‘Thinking about what his intentions may have been made me very nervous about the safety of myself and my family.’

Yeung pleaded guilty to stalking Professor Dodd for the period between July 2019 to April last year.

Mitigating, Nigel Couzens, said: ‘He is fully acceptant of the fact that there was no relationship, in fact, he accepts that his actions would have caused the lady substantial distress.’

Mr Couzens said Yeung has ‘no intention’ of contacting Professor Dodd any further.

Magistrate Gary Chant banned Yeung from entering Hampshire or contacting Professor Dodd.

Sentencing the former student, Mr Chant said: ‘This was a very serious offence of which the stalking took place over a long period of time.

‘You were found in possession of her family photos, photos that included her six-year-old son.

‘She had to temporarily move her place of work which is just not on.’

Mr Chant said the offence was ‘so serious’ but told Yeung ‘you will not be going to prison today’.

He sentenced him to an 18-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, and issued him with a restraining order banning him from contacting the professor or entering Hampshire.

Yeung will also have to pay a total of £239 in costs and complete a 12-month offender requirement programme.

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