A “white witch” barrister harassed a self-proclaimed wizard and damaged his home after he invited her to live with him.

Barbara Maura Lane is alleged to have thrown books at tarot card expert Alfred Douglas, 82, and isolated him from his friends and family after moving into his home while she trained as a barrister.

Lane, 42, who works for media firm Thompson Reuters, admitted harassing Mr Douglas and criminal damage after reportedly smashing a glass pane on the door of his home.

Lane, now living in St Leonards, was dubbed locally the “White Witch of Rye” after moving in with Mr Douglas during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Argus: Barbara Maura LaneBarbara Maura Lane (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

She initially met Mr Douglas after signing up for his magic course and visiting him at his home in Rye so she could see his library on tarot cards and magic, which he had developed having published multiple books on the subject.

She is said to have moved in with Mr Douglas after he invited her to complete her studies in Rye.


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Mr Douglas told police that Lane became reclusive and alleged that on occasion she would smash glassware and crockery in his home.

He also told officers that Lane “began to make my friends feel less and less welcome at the house”, alleging that she berated one of them and isolated him from others.

He said: “Having isolated me from the people I knew best, she seemed to be trying to undermine my self-confidence and mental stability.”

The Argus: Barbara Maura LaneBarbara Maura Lane (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

On the weekend of King Charles’s coronation Lane, an Irish Republican, reportedly became offended by decorations bearing the King’s face and tore them down from a shop in Rye.

Lane was arrested on May 7, 2023, and subsequently charged with assaulting Mr Douglas’s family, stalking him, damaging his bedroom door and a glass pane in his house.

At Brighton Magistrates' Court last week she pleaded guilty to harassment without violence and criminal damage.

Lane could face jail and is due to be sentenced on July 5.