Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting GAZETTE NEWS to 80360, or email
My two years of hell over harassment claim
A NURSERY director has described his two years of hell fighting a conviction for harassing a family friend.
Masoud Samarbakhsh, 49, from Layer de la Haye, was convicted of bombarding beauty salon owner Sharareh Rostampour with phone calls and standing outside her place of work.
Mr Samarbakhsh, who runs Lexden Lodge Kindergarten in Colchester, has overturned the conviction, having spent £20,000 clearing his name.
He said: “Justice has prevailed.I can’t put the feeling into words as this is not something you expect to come from a family friend. This has been a waste of time and public funds and it really feels my character has been assassinated.”
Mr Samarbakhsh said he was shocked and hurt by the allegations, saying wife Mahila, 37, and sons had suffered unnecessarily.
He was best friends with Mrs Rostampour’s husband for 12 years when the allegations surfaced.
He said: “At the time I wondered what people were thinking about me and what they were saying, because my family has a good reputation in the town. Now I am just looking forward to moving on with life and getting back to normal.”
He was convicted after a four-day trial at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court, in September last year.
He was given a three-month community service order, told to pay £3,164 costs and banned from leaving home between 7pm and 7am for two months.
Mr Samarbakhsh was originally advised not to appeal the conviction, but a second solicitor agreed to take the case and won.
Mr Samarbakhsh said: “I am innocent and wanted to clear my name.”
Mrs Rostampour, who runs Optiface in Crouch Street, Colchester, says she no longer has contact with the Samarbakhsh family. She added: “Justice let me down this time.”