A WOMAN who harassed her former psychotherapist did so because she struggled to come to terms with the end of their professional relationship.

Joanne Ireland stopped seeing therapist Martin Jelfs in September after he said he could no longer help her.

The 38-year-old began going to Mr Jelfs in 2009, firstly at his home and later moving to his offices in Catherine Street, Salisbury, and then Ireland’s home as it made her feel more confident.

After the end of their sessions Ireland contacted Mr Jelfs a number of times before visiting his home four times in one day.

On Friday, Salisbury magistrates’ court heard that Mr Jelfs decided to not contact the police about the text messages, but it came to a head on November 4. Prosecuting, Kate Prince said Ireland turned up at the psychotherapist’s home and on one occasion threw stones at his window. She then returned four hours later, coming to the front door and Mr Jelfs made the decision to call the police.

“Police officers attended Mr Jelfs’ address and spoke with her [Ireland]. She left at that stage but as police were taking a statement from him, Ireland returned again at 9.10pm,” Ms Prince said.

“Later in the evening she returned for a fourth time. He now feels he needs to pursue the matter with the police.”

In a statement to police Mr Jelfs said that he had done his best to help Ireland, of Festival Avenue, Salisbury, but she needed further help.

Ireland admitted harassing Mr Jelfs.

Paul Jones, defending, said Ireland apologised that her “distress has caused distress to others”.

“She has suffered problems throughout her life. Mr Jelfs has been working with her for a period of eight years and there was a degree of a relationship between them and when this collapsed she felt it difficult to cope with as she wasn’t getting any psychiatric help,” Mr Jones added.

“She reacted to not being able to find some alternative help at that stage.”

Ireland is currently seeking help from another mental health team which is hoped will help her with her ongoing problems.

Magistrates handed Ireland a conditional discharge for 12 months. A restraining order was also imposed to stop her contacting Mr Jelfs.