Daughter of ex-Darlington FC owner found guilty of stalking his friend

The daughter of ex-Darlington FC owner George Reynolds has been found guilty of stalking his friend who was “scared to leave the house” after she tried to follow her home.

Alexandra Reynolds threatened to give her dad’s friend Maxine Brewis “a good hiding” when she saw her next and warned her to cut all contact with her dad over fears she had “ulterior motives”.

George Reynolds, a former safecracker, ran a multi-million-pound business empire and at one point ranked at 112 on The Sunday Times Richlist before his infamous downfall.

During a trial at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, Reynolds was found guilty in her absence of one count of stalking which occurred between November 2019 and June 2020.

The court heard how Mr Reynolds rekindled a friendship with Maxine who started working in his e-cigarette shop and regularly dropped him off at his home in Monument Court in County Durham, where his daughter Alexandra also lived.

In November 2019, Maxine had dropped Mr Reynolds off at home when his daughter parked her car in front of the victim’s, blocking her in. Maxine feared she “would be attacked” if she got out of the car, the court heard.

Describing another incident in the car park, Maxine said Reynolds told her: ‘What are you doing here? I’ll punch your head in. This is my car park and I’m telling you never come back.’

“She was totally intimidating.”

In January 2020, the victim received a text which said: “No outsiders coming in. If I see you, which I will, I will give you a good hiding in the car park.

“Get back to Pennywell, stay out of the roads, grab yourself a steak bake. I don’t like riff-raff.”

In another text, Reynolds accused the victim of having “ulterior motives” for helping her dad.

The victim sobbed in court as she said: “I was just trying to help.”

Reynolds blocked the victim in again on June 16 and later followed her as she drove home to Sunderland.

Maxine described how Reynolds “made cars stop” so she could get behind her and was advised by the police to attend Southwick police station.

She told the court: “I rang the police, I was so scared. She was following me home to find out where I live. I was shaking.”

The victim added: “I’m scared to leave the house, I’m paranoid in case she gets someone else. I’m scared to be with my grandchildren in case she found me. She made my life a misery.”

A prior statement from George Reynolds, who died last month, said his daughter was “verbally abusive” towards Maxine, threatening to grab her by the hair.

He also said Maxine had never taken any money from him or taken advantage of him and said his daughter acted “maliciously” rather than out of concern.

In a police statement, Miss Reynolds admitted sending the texts and admitted being in the car park at the same time as the victim but denied following her, saying everything she did had her father’s interest at heart.

Finding Miss Reynolds guilty of stalking, chair of the bench David Carr said the witness was “credible” and was backed up by a statement from George Reynolds.

The court issued a warrant for the defendant’s arrest to allow her to be sentenced.

Chronicle Live – Sunderland