A MENTALLY ill stalker who harassed Princess Diana's former butler Paul Burrell by telephone won't be detained in hospital.
Mr Burrell, of High Street, Farndon, suffered anguish at the hands of Bulgarian national Slav Mitev who claimed to have kidnapped his wife Maria during one phone call last June.
Mitev, 50, of Wood Green, London, had been due to face a criminal trial earlier this year but was found unfit to plea by Judge Elgan Edwards, Recorder of Chester.
This meant he couldn't be jailed but could be detained in hospital after a jury at Chester Crown Court found the case against him proved.
However, Judge Edwards, considering sentencing on Friday, ruled out a hospital order in favour of a supervision order after taking into account the latest medical evidence.
Addressing comments made by Mitev's barrister Michael Stradling, he said: “The new medical information rather casts doubt on the necessity or propriety of a hospital order. It seems to me that by the same token an absolute discharge is not appropriate.
“He has caused very considerable distress to Mr Burrell, not least he had to give evidence before the court.
“Your client is clearly not well mentally but I think an absolute discharge is stretching the court's generosity too far.”
Judge Edwards ordered a social services report on Mitev which, along with ‘some mental health input’, will form the basis of a supervision order which will be imposed at a future hearing on a date to be fixed.
Mitev made a series of phone calls to Mr Burrell's Farndon flower shop last summer which were answered by either Mr Burrell or a colleague.
During what the former royal servant described as the ‘most disturbing’ call, Mitev implied he was holding his wife Maria hostage who was staying in the couple’s Florida home at the time.
“I can honestly tell you I was sick to my stomach,” Mr Burrell, 53, told the court. “I put the phone down and immediately rang my wife. My thought was that maybe he was calling from the States and he had managed to get into my home and had my wife in custody.”
Mitev also threatened to assassinate the ex-butler and implied he would kill his grown-up sons and brother.
He twice threatened to set fire to the florists, above which Mr Burrell was living.
Mr Burrell's original flower shop in Holt was fire-bombed 10 years ago and the victim feared it was going to happen again.