Thursday , April 18 2024

TV Laura’s stalker hell: Sports presenter Laura Woods is left in ‘real fear’ by ‘enormous and devastating’ two-year harassment ordeal at the hands of female fan, 25, who sent her vile messages, abused her online and threatened to KILL her dog

An obsessed female football fan has been jailed after leaving sports presenter Laura Woods living in ‘real fear’ during a two-year campaign of harassment.

Harneet Kaur, 25, branded Ms Woods a prostitute in vile messages, targeted her with derogatory comments online and sent a string of unwanted food deliveries to her home.

Kaur, a Liverpool football fan who went by the name ‘Krazy Harns’ online, also threatened to kidnap and kill Ms Woods’ dog and arranged for a Bible and a sexual health testing kit to be sent to her house. The sick campaign, which began in June 2021 and lasted until September 2023, had an ‘enormous and devastating’ effect, according to Ms Woods’ victim impact statement.

The 36-year-old is a presenter for TNT Sports, formerly BT Sports, and travels all over the country for matches and interviews.

Laura Woods, 36, is a presenter for TNT Sports, formerly BT Sports, and travels all over the country for matches and interviews

Laura Woods, 36, is a presenter for TNT Sports, formerly BT Sports, and travels all over the country for matches and interviews

Harneet Kaur, 25, (pictured) branded Ms Woods a prostitute in vile messages, targeted her with derogatory comments online and sent a string of unwanted food deliveries to her home

Harneet Kaur, 25, (pictured) branded Ms Woods a prostitute in vile messages, targeted her with derogatory comments online and sent a string of unwanted food deliveries to her home

Prosecutors said Kaur’s actions had left Ms Woods with a ‘real fear’ that the defendant would get close to her while she was working. She suffers from anxiety and has been forced to increase security at home and while at work.

Kaur, who has autism, is already banned from Liverpool’s Anfield stadium for ticket touting. Her barrister claimed her autism, which led to ‘obsession and compulsion’, was behind her offending.

But judge Talog Davies, who jailed her for 14 months on Friday, said she would have known the impact she was having on Ms Woods. Antonie Muller, prosecuting at Wolverhampton Crown Court, said Kaur’s campaign started in June 2021, when she used Just Eat to arrange a delivery of Krispy Kreme doughnuts to Ms Woods’ home in London.

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He said Ms Woods was initially ‘pleasantly surprised and thought it was a mistake or somebody being nice’, so posted a picture on her Twitter account saying they had ‘made her evening’.

Laura Woods (pictured) ahead of a Premier League match at the City Ground, Nottingham

Laura Woods (pictured) ahead of a Premier League match at the City Ground, Nottingham

TNT Sports presenter Laura Woods prior to the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux on February 1, 2024

TNT Sports presenter Laura Woods prior to the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux on February 1, 2024

But he added: ‘She did not realise this was to be the start of a campaign against her.’ Ms Woods went on to receive a Just Eat order from Starbucks as well as a chocolate lollipop with a message saying ‘from your secret admirer and I’m not crazy’.

The contact then ‘all turned much darker’, Mr Muller said. Among a string of vile messages was one saying Ms Woods was a ‘former prostitute who slept herself into a job’.

In July that year, Kaur’s iPad showed she had visited the London road where Ms Woods lived. Other messages posted online from an account linked to Kaur called Ms Woods a ‘vile, stuck-up person’. Although Kaur was arrested on April 8, 2022 and her iPad and phone seized, she continued to leave derogatory comments on Ms Woods’ Wikipedia page and sent her a voice note on Instagram.

Kaur also sent messages saying Ms Woods was ‘Tory’ and wasn’t welcome in Liverpool ahead of a match she was due to attend. Kaur was arrested again in August 2022 and another iPhone was seized by police, but ‘it didn’t stop her’, Mr Muller said.

Prosecutors said Kaur's actions had left Ms Woods (pictured) with a 'real fear' that the defendant would get close to her while she was working

Prosecutors said Kaur’s actions had left Ms Woods (pictured) with a ‘real fear’ that the defendant would get close to her while she was working

In October she posted a message saying ‘wtf is that coke head doing at Anfield’ and posted a picture of Ms Woods’ face on the body of an ‘overweight man’.

Prosecutors sought to have Kaur banned from every football ground in the country, as well as all of Newcastle – where Ms Woods’ boyfriend Adam Collard lives – and swathes of London. But the judge said it was too draconian. Instead, he imposed a restraining order, banning her from contacting Ms Woods and 14 other people, and from going within 500m of the presenter’s home.

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Balbir Singh, in mitigation, said: ‘This defendant has never met Laura Woods, she has never spoken to her, she has never approached her – this is why this case is very different to many others that come before the courts.’

He said Kaur had a ‘severe degree of autism which debilitated all aspects of her life’ and she wasn’t able to understand the impact on Ms Woods.

Kaur, who lives with her accountant parents in Walsall, admitted stalking at an earlier hearing. Ms Woods declined to comment.

Inside the meteoric rise of award-winning sports presenter Laura Woods

By Natasha Anderson

Laura Woods has became a household name in the world of sport, presenting on some of the biggest programmes in the UK.

Woods paved her way in the industry by working as a runner at Sky Sports after graduating from university. She eventually worked her way up to editorial assistant, assistant producer, associate and producer. 

The 36-year-old saw her fame levels skyrocket last year after she was made the face of TNT Sports following its re-branding, leading the channel’s football coverage in both the Premier League and Champions League.

She has also been working with ITV to lead their football coverage, including the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and Australia last year. 

Woods has also covered the NFL and boxing in her career, having worked for the likes of DAZN. 

Woods has become the face of the channel's Premier League and Champions League coverage

Woods has become the face of the channel’s Premier League and Champions League coverage

Woods was awarded Presenter of the Year by Broadcast Sport after being recognised for her work covering women’s international matches in November last year.

She beat the likes of colleagues Mark Pougatch, who is the face of men’s international games on ITV in both football and rugby, and Ed Chamberlain, the lead presenter of ITV’s racing coverage, to the award. 

She was also recognised for her role at ITV covering both FIFA men’s and women’s World Cup finals and the FA Cup.

She said at the time: ‘For a presenter to win an award like this, they need a safe and encouraging environment to flourish in and that for me has been ITV.

‘So I’d like to thank the amazing production team we have for making every day so much fun and for putting their hearts and souls into their work behind the scenes.

‘I’m so grateful to be a part of this family. This award means the world to me.’ 

Woods won Sports Broadcaster of the Year by Broadcast Sport late last year, her latest award

Woods won Sports Broadcaster of the Year by Broadcast Sport late last year, her latest award

As her popularity has risen, the ex-TalkSport host has seen her earnings go with it following her departure from the radio show in June.

Woods was picking up a pay packet of £250,000-a-year to work on TalkSport, but figures show that her assets have now reached a value of over £1million.

Reports last month showed that Woods, via her company The Pig and I Limited, increased her wealth from £400,000 to seven figures from December 2021 to December 2022, months before she made the move to TNT.

The 36-year-old is said to have received a huge pay rise after signing with the former BT Sport, receiving plaudits for her work with the broadcaster.

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