<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?> A Harrods chef, who made repeated sexually explicit anonymous phone calls to five female co-workers at the department store, leaving them "extremely frightened and distressed," was sentenced to three years' supervision today (Tuesday).
And he was warned that he would face prison if there was any similar behaviour.
Married Robert Perez, 31, (pictured) admitted watching pornography then breathing heavily down the line while playing with himself as he called his colleagues.
The first-time offender, of Bletchley, Milton Keynes, pleaded guilty to five counts of stalking, involving serious harm or distress.
"You took advantage of your work to harvest the telephone numbers of female employees from notice boards and other sources," Isleworth Crown Court Judge Martin Edmunds QC told Perez as he sentenced him.
"Then on occasions when you were alone you telephoned them and in the case of one texted that victim with obscene words and messages.
"In the course of these telephone calls, often repeated to the same victim, you used their names.
"The victims sensed that you were masturbating while telephoning them and you later admitted to the police that you would watch pornography and make calls and masturbate.
"The fact you were gaining sexual pleasure adds to the distress and serious alarm these victims did feel."
Prosecutor Richard Bendall told the court another innocent employee had initially come under suspicion.
He continued : "The defendant was working as a chef at Harrods and a number of female employees were receiving obscene telephone calls and the people being called were referred to by name.
Perez used sexually explicit and threatening language in the calls.
Mr Bendall said : "They got the impression the person was masturbating and making moaning noises at the time of the call."
The calls came from unidentified pay-as-you-go phones, but when the police were informed a court order revealed the source of the calls were somewhere in the Milton Keynes area and Harrow. One of the phones used belonged to a friend of the defendant's wife.
When arrested Perez, who is now a pub chef, immediately confessed and told officers: "I made the calls, I admit it was me."
Mr Bendall added: "He said he would not have acted upon them and was acting out a sexual fantasy and would not have approached them."
Perez's lawyer John Oliver told the court: "The defendant and his wife have renewed their vows since he pleaded guilty and he supports his partner who no longer works due to pregnancy.
"Mr. Perez's wife has been very supportive and he puts the offences down to twelve to eighteen months of pressure, the pressure of the marriage soon after his wife's father died and the long hours he worked as a chef.
"He chose this as a way to relieve that stress and since seeing the victims' statements he is aware how serious this offence was.
"He has contacted MIND for counselling sessions and has attended three of six."
Judge Edmunds decided not to make a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, but banned Perez from entering Harrods for three years under the Protection from Harassment Act.
He told him : "These are offences of stalking involving serious alarm or distress and the courts understand how distressing stalking behaviour can be to the victims.
"This extremely worrying and distressing behaviour could well have resulted in you being sent to prison today.
"It is my hope that those you victimised and frightened will understand this sentence is designed to prevent anything like this happening again.
"If you breach this order you will be sentenced again and I have no doubt sent to prison."
Perez received a three year supervision order, which requires compliance with the Thames Valley Sex Offenders Treatment Programme and was ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge."