Businessman who stalked Love Island star Tyla Carr and threatened to throw acid in her face after buying her pair of Jimmy Choo shoes from Selfridges is jailed for 27 months
- Duncan Friend bought, designer shoes and a handbag for Love Island’s Tyla Carr
- When released from jail, Friend will be subject to a 7-year restraining order
A businessman who stalked and threatened to throw acid in the face of a former Love Island contestant has been jailed.
Father of two Duncan Friend, 51, fell for Tyla Carr at a party and then splashed out on Jimmy Choo designer shoes and a bag after a trip to Selfridges.
But when she said she couldn’t get him tickets to a film premiere in London he asked for the gifts back and began a terrifying stalking campaign when she was slow to return the items.
He alleged she claimed to have cancer and they shared messages after he demanded the return of the items.
Construction company boss Friend, from Sittingbourne, made 40 calls on several different numbers, many of which were withheld.
He ended up driving to a friend of Ms Carr, in Chatham, armed with a machete, which he waved about while threatening to throw acid in Ms Carr’s face and kill her.
It was caught on CCTV and police later arrested him, granting him bail on condition he did not contact her.
But he later texted her again and was rearrested and remanded in custody.
After admitting possession of an offensive weapon he pleaded guilty to stalking at the beginning of his trial and was jailed for 27 months.
The judge Recorder Edmund Fowler told him: ‘It became clear that your positions became ever more polarised..and eventually your demands became intensified and ever more over-bearing.
‘The messages, over a relatively short period of time, became threatening and abusive.’
His barrister, Lawrence Selby told the judge: ‘There are two sides to every story. Friend felt that Ms Carr took him for a fool.’
He said Ms Carr’s claim to have cancer ‘touched a particularly raw nerve’ and he reacted in a way which he accepts now was wrong.
Prosecutor Trevor Wright said the two met on December 30 last year and on January 25 they met again.
‘It was his birthday and she was in London. She was looking at this as a friendship.
‘Whilst in London they went to Selfridges and he bought her a bag, two pairs of shoes and a scarf.’
He said Ms Carr had tickets for the premiere of a movie and he asked if she could get him a ticket and when it never happened he demanded the return of the items from Selfridges.
Mr Wright said she agreed to the return but Friend wanted them returned quicker than she was prepared to do it.
Neither was she prepared to give her address to him when he said he wanted to send a car to collect the items – resulting in him sending abusive messages.
The prosecutor said Friend then made 40 calls and texts saying he was going to ‘kick off’ at her birthday bash in London, resulting in her changing the venue.
Friend later turned up at the home of her friend waving a machete and was arrested and bailed by the police with an order not to contact her.
But on February 16, she received a number of texts, some of which contained details of a planned holiday with family and friends in Mexico.
He was re-arrested and has been held in prison until sentencing, which his lawyer said had jeopardised important business contracts and the future for 13 of his employees
Mr Selby said because of personal tragedies involving his own family and cancer, her claim, had set off ‘a perfect maelstrom which led him to behave this way.’
‘This was crass and gross stupidity but he has now learned his lesson, ‘ he added.
Ms Carr, who was present in the court building expecting to give evidence, but left before sentence was pronounced without commenting.
The 30 year old mum of one from Surrey was a contestant on the third series of Love Island where she spent a month in the villa.
Investigator for the Vulnerable Investigation Team, Holly Felstead, said: ‘Duncan Friend subjected his victim to relentless harassment and intimidation and his actions have impacted deeply on her daily life.
‘Friend has caused a huge amount of distress, fear and anxiety not only to the victim but to her friends and family.
‘We are grateful that the victim has shown tremendous courage in coming forward and helping us secure this important sentence.
‘I would like to praise her bravery in reporting these crimes to us and urge anyone who is being abused or harassed by someone they know to tell the police as soon as possible.
‘Your safety is our priority and we will take whatever steps are open to us to protect you and bring to justice those who might harm you.’
Upon his release from custody, Friend will be subject to a seven-year restraining order