A senior lecturer in mechanical engineering at the University of Lincoln has been found guilty of harassment after sending 300 emails in under a month to a former student and trying to start a romantic relationship with her.
Fotios Georgiadis, 49, joined the Lincoln School of Engineering as a senior lecturer in May 2013. He was found guilty after a trial at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on January 30, 2020 of harassing a student, who he had met at the University of Lincoln and continued to harass, despite police intervention.
The victim also made it clear she wasn’t interested in a romantic relationship, yet multiple phone calls and emails continued. Fotios even told her he had booked a hotel for them and was heading to London to see her.
The Crown Prosecution Service said Fotios’ victim took up a role at the university as a research assistant. When she left in 2016 she remained in contact with Georgiadis’ wife as she had become friends with her when she later worked at the university.
Georgiadis, who is from Lincoln, started divorce proceedings with his wife in July 2018. He then contacted the victim himself for the first time, but his multiple daily phone calls made her feel so uncomfortable that she took a three week trip abroad.
However, when she came back he asked her to stay with him for the weekend and she explained this was not appropriate. He said he wanted them to have a romantic relationship, but she clarified this was not something she wanted.
He emailed her in October 2018 and agreed he would not contact her again, but in early November Georgiadis sent his victim a text saying he was going to London to see her and had booked them a hotel room.
The victim said this was against her wishes and blocked his number, but he tried to start a conversation with her by talking about work-related papers over email.
She tried to distance herself further by emailing Georgiadis and his ex-wife in January 2019 saying she no longer wanted contact with either of them. She also changed her email address before reporting him to police in August.
She reported him to police because of the approximately 300 emails he sent her between mid-August to mid-September, including on one day alone where he sent 74 emails. Georgiadis told the police he would not contact her again, but went on to send her 51 emails over four days in September.
The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that Fotios’ sentencing will take place on February 18, 2020.
Jessica Gill, Senior Crown Prosecutor at CPS London South in the magistrates’ court unit, said: “Georgiadis flouted police instructions not to contact his victim who had to put up with his unsolicited contact for over a year. For the entire period, she made it very clear that she was not interested in the romantic relationship that Georgiadis was proposing.
“Her protestations fell on deaf ears and she made desperate attempts to avoid him by changing her email and leaving the country. However he continued to attempt to contact her by sending countless emails and phone calls. He even travelled to visit her, booking them a hotel.
“This conviction will mean that Georgiadis’ attempts to contact his victim will be brought to an end. Hopefully this will give some comfort to the victim who has put up with his harassment for long enough.”
A University spokesperson said: “The University has a zero-tolerance policy regarding any kind of harassment, and disciplinary processes are in place to investigate and deal with behaviour which may fall short of the high expectations we set, and can result suspension and dismissal of staff. We cannot comment on individual cases.”