Woman jailed three times for harassing best friend locked up again

‘Infatuated’ woman jailed three times for harassing her best friend is locked up again for breaching restraining order after bombarding her with hundreds of phone calls

  • Keelie Murphy, 36, has harassed her childhood friend Gemma Ellison for years 
  • Ms Murphy called Ms Ellison’s business hundreds of times to try and contact her
  • The ‘infatuated’ harasser has been jailed for the fourth time for her obsession 
  • Ms Ellison said she felt ‘mentally drained’ being bombarded by calls all day long 

A woman repeatedly jailed for harassing her childhood friend has been imprisoned again for obsessively contacting her as soon as she was released.

Keelie Murphy, 36, has already been jailed three times for constantly pestering Gemma Ellison despite a restraining order preventing further contact.

However, each time she was released from prison, Ms Murphy bombarded Ms Ellison’s workplace with phone calls.

The pair had been friends since the age of 10 but the relationship ‘soured’ after Ms Murphy, from Woolton, Liverpool ‘developed an infatuation’ with Ms Ellison, a court heard. 

The two had not spoken for many years but got back in touch in 2017.

Ms Murphy was convicted of harassment in 2020 and banned from going to Ms Ellison’s company Ellison Motors for five years.  

Keelie Murphy, 36, has been jailed for the fourth time for harassing Gemma Ellison and breaching her restraining order 

Later that year she was jailed for 12 further weeks after breaching her restraining order five times, calling Ms Ellison more than 200 times in just three days. 

In January 2021, she was jailed for another 10 weeks for breaking the order again and immediately after being released she breached it five more times by repeatedly contacting Ms Ellison.

Ms Murphy was jailed again for two years in September 2021 – she was released in December but recalled on licence in April. 

Released on April 29 this year, Ms Murphy ‘immediately started contacting [Ms Ellison] again at her place of work’, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Her obsessive contact with Ms Ellison ranged from ‘expressions of love and romance to threats of violence and abuse’. 

She told the mother-of-three she was going to ‘take the consequences into her own hands’ and warned ‘watch what happens’.

Liverpool Crown Court (pictured) heard Ms Murphy had called Ms Ellison more than 200 times in just three days in 2020. She also called Ms Ellison’s business ‘from the minute we open up until we close’

Most of the calls were ignored by Ms Ellison, but they caused disruption at her business by blocking up the phone lines. 

The police advised the complainant to record the barrage of calls, and she did so with one on the afternoon of May 26. In it, Murphy told her ‘she had ruined her life’ and called her ‘derogatory names’, including a ‘d******d’.

A statement read out to the court on Ms Ellison’s behalf said: ‘I get constant migraines after a day of her ringing. I go home to the kids feeling sad and deflated. She turns horrible so quickly if you tell her to stop ringing. I wonder what it will take her to stop.

‘It’s be going on for years and years now. It’s having a huge effect on me and the business. Every time Keelie is let out of prison, she starts back up immediately on her release. Keelie would not just call up once, she would call from the minute we open up until we close.

‘It’s caused me nothing but stress and anxiety. I constantly think about what’s next. It makes me feel mentally drained when all I want to do is come to work and run my business.’ 

Stuart Nolan, defending, said: ‘It’s a very distressing case. One can only feel for the victim in this matter. 

‘There are serious mental health issues here. At the root of all this is this woman’s obsession, which seems to have become troubling to society when she’s in drink and drugs.’

Murphy admitted harassment and was jailed for 30 months. The restraining order was also extended indefinitely, and she was told to pay a victim surcharge.

Sentencing, Recorder Tim Harrington said: ‘Previous sentences, whether they be suspended sentences or prison sentences, have not deterred you. You were on licence and knew you were prohibited from contacting her, yet you persisted.

‘This was a very serious and persistent breach, and it did cause serious distress. This was part of a persistent pattern of conduct.

‘It’s up to you. If you do what the order says you must do, you won’t get into trouble again.

‘If you breach that order, you will undoubtedly be prosecuted again and the sentences are just going to get longer and longer.’

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