An anti-vaccine campaigner has been jailed for stalking the leading scientist behind the island's Covid testing lab

Courtenay Heading, 66, mounted a ‘smear campaign’ against Dr Rachel Glover, sending hundreds of emails and social media posts accusing her of conducting a Covid PCR test fraud for financial gain.

In correspondence, Heading accused Dr Glover of being a 'conner', scammer, was scientifically illiterate, tricked people into taking the jab, misled Tynwald and needed jailing, the court heard.

But it was one online 'tweet' sent on March 27 last year that brought matters to a head in which Mr Heading said that ‘Jurby jail was too good for Dr Rachel Glover’.

Activist Courtenay Heading attends Douglas courthouse -

Dr Glover told the summary court trial that the emails from Heading began in late 2017 with claims about the HPV vaccine, but then escalated significantly during the Covid pandemic.

The emails stopped for a couple of weeks after Dr Glover contacted the police who warned Mr Heading that the large volume of unsolicited correspondence was causing her concern.

But then the defendant increasingly turned to Twitter (now X) to post his accusations.

Heading, who represented himself during the proceedings, had denied the charges but was found guilty in the summary court of stalking Dr Glover back in January

Sentencing him today (Tuesday) to eight months behind bars, High Bailiff James Brooks told Heading, who claimed the court was ‘complicit in a great crime’ and that the vaccination drive was a ‘genocide’ on the island, had shown a ‘complete lack of remorse’ for his activities.

DR Rachel Glover

He also said that Heading had failed to comply with the court proceedings and had turned the legal process into a ‘quasi-political circus.’

In her evidence submitted during the trial, Dr Glover said she had increased security at her home and now avoids going into Ramsey to avoid coming face to face with Heading as a result of his actions. Dr Glover also read out extracts from some of the messages that were either sent directly to her or into which she was copied, a number of which had been sent while she was at home with her newborn baby.

‘It was just an onslaught,’ she said. ‘There was no escape from it.’

As well as serving time behind bars, Heading was also banned from contacting Dr Glover - including copying her into e-mails - or making any posts on social media mentioning or referring to her.