An American woman was arrested Wednesday in Spain for sending dozens of death threats to Stephen Hawking then trailing him to an astronomy festival in the Canary Islands, Gizmodo reports. According to El Pais, the unnamed 37-year-old woman lives in Norway and has no previous criminal record. Authorities were tipped off by one of her children, who found more than 100 tweets and emails she had sent to Hawking, threatening to kill him. When Hawking gave his first lecture this week at the Starmus Festival, he was flanked by two police officers. The woman was arrested nearby.
The woman was staying at a hotel near where Hawking was staying. Authorities found evidence of religious extremism, including items contradicting Hawking's claim that God doesn't exist, in her room. They also found details of Hawking's home and office and plans for how to approach him. The BBC reports the woman was also in possession of a map of Hawking's festival itinerary. After her arrest, the woman told police she loves Hawking and would never try to hurt him. Authorities believe the woman has psychological issues. She was given a four-month suspended prison sentence for harassment and threats. In addition, she is not to come within 1,600 feet of Hawking or communicate with him on social media for eight months. Sources say Hawking never felt he was in danger.