A disgruntled patient who stalked his dentist with a crossbow, bleach, and plastic sheeting has been jailed for two years after breaking a restraining order against him.
Tom Baddeley, 42, was previously sentenced to prison in August for secretly following orthodontist Ian Hutchinson with a boot full of weapons capable of causing “serious harm” and logging his movements over a four-year period, reports WalesOnline.
Cardiff Crown Court heard Baddeley developed an “obsession” with his dentist Dr Hutchinson while he was a patient of his between 2012- 2016 in Bristol.
They also heard that he made “bizarre” complaints about Dr Hutchinson during this period before their contact broke off.
Baddeley was first caught by police in November 2019 after a member of the public reported him acting suspiciously in his parked car – one of over 30 vehicles he bought to limit the chance he’d be recognised by Dr Hutchinson – near the orthodontist’s home in Monmouthshire.
Police found him wearing a balaclava and discovered a kit in his boot including a crossbow, a knife, a snood, gloves, a ski mask, bleach, plastic sheets, and cleansing wipes.
In his Bristol home the police found detailed surveillance logs of Dr Hutchinson’s movements spanning four years. They also found a “sinister” document counting down to something Baddeley referred to as “The Event”, of which the details to were never specified.
Baddeley was sentenced to 16 months in prison in August and handed an indefinite restraining order after he pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon, possession of a bladed article, and stalking.
But on Thursday, the court heard he had in fact been released from custody the very same day he was sentenced because of the time he had spent on remand, unbeknownst to his victim.
Prosecutor Nigel Fryer said Baddeley was spotted approaching The Smile Lounge, one of Dr Hutchinson’s dental clinics in Chepstow, just two months later on October 7.
Baddeley was caught by officers riding a bicycle after being recognised by them despite wearing a baseball cap, a facemask and dark sunglasses.
Mr Fryer said: “It is not an understatement to say that this had a profound effect on Ian Hutchinson.”
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A victim impact statement read out in court heard Dr Hutchinson, 52, say he had been forced to change his lifestyle and routines in fear of being cornered by his stalker, and feared what Baddeley would have done to him.
He said: “I’d thought about what if he’d been able to get into the practice, what he would have done to the staff or any patients. This makes me feel upset.
“I have been a dentist for 30 years. This is not something I thought I would have to consider.”
He said the incident had also led to his long-term partner leaving him, with some of the reasons including not feeling safe within his home and potential reprisals from Baddeley.
“This has affected my mental health considerably. I have become very irritable and short-tempered. I am still waiting for counselling to help with my mental health.
“I struggle to sleep at night, and I’m constantly looking over my shoulder for things that seem out of place.”
He added: “My life has completely changed.”
Lucy Crowther QC, defending Baddeley, said the stalker did not accept he had ever made bizarre requests to Dr Hutchinson during his treatment, which included demanding some removed teeth were reinserted into his mouth.
“He does, however, quite accept that he was very concerned about the quality of care and treatment that was provided to him by Dr Hutchinson,” she said.
Ms Crowther said Baddeley continued to claim the weapons found in his boot were not there for a “sinister purpose”, and that his stalking of the dentist “became something of a hobby, and something he found gratifying in its own right.”
Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke told Baddeley though there was no specific reference to what “The Event” in his notes meant, “at the very least there was a plan to cause him substantial harm, if not to end his life.”
She said pre-sentence reports compiled for him “lead me to the conclusion it will be quite some time before your obsession with Dr Hutchinson subsides.”
Baddeley, from Montpelier, Bristol, was sentenced to two years in prison, and told any further breach of the restraining order carried a term of five years imprisonment.
After the sentencing Detective Constable Ceri Parker of Gwent Police said: “No person should have to live with the fear associated with the offence of stalking as Baddeley’s victim has.”