One person unlikely to get a visit from Santa this year is Madge Howlett, after it emerged that Father Christmas had taken an injunction out against the thirty four year old Droitwich shop assistant, preventing her from coming within thirty feet of him, or communicating with him in any way. Although St Nicholas himself was unavailable for comment, solicitors representing him confirmed that Miss Howlett had been stalking the festive icon for several years now. “Every year her letters to Santa got progressively more explicit,” explains Winston Wanger of law firm Wanger, Wanger and Koch. “He’s used to getting the odd saucy letter from ladies asking for sexy underwear, but, over time, her missives went far beyond this, not just in the kind of things she was asking for, but the suggestions as to what she could do to Santa.” In addition to the expected innuendos about Father Christmas coming down her chimney and allusions to emptying his sack, the letters apparently also included extended sexual fantasies involving Miss Howlett, Santa and his reindeer. “Our client is an old man – he finds this sort of thing very upsetting,” explains Wanger. “Quite apart from the embarrassment caused to his elves when they had to produce and then wrap some of the things Miss Howlett was asking for!”

According to the solicitor, Father Christmas was finally forced to take action when Miss Howlett’s activities began to interfere with his work. “Obviously, visiting her house every Christmas became a highly traumatic experience, he’d frequently leave it until last and take at least one of the reindeer with him for protection,” says Wanger. “As if this wasn’t bad enough, Miss Howlett took to following his sleigh, hiding behind chimney pots and surreptitiously photographing him as he went about his business. Then last year she hid in someone else’s wardrobe and leaped out at our client as he delivered their presents. He was so shocked he nearly had a heart attack! He was hyper-ventilating so badly that the householders – woken up by the commotion – called an ambulance.” Following this incident Howlett was arrested and cautioned by police for breaking and entering. “Sadly, our client has a history of attracting crazed admirers,” says Wanger. “I’m afraid it is a natural consequence of his chosen profession of spreading seasonal happiness – people have a tendency to become obsessed with him.” Some of these admirers have gone to even greater lengths than Howlett. Indeed, six years ago Christmas had to be postponed for three days after Santa went missing. After an extensive police search he was found tied to a rack in a homemade torture dungeon in Exeter, being whipped by a leather-clad woman. “Apparently, she’d abducted him on Christmas Eve and was holding him prisoner until he agreed to bring her the present of her dreams,” recalls Wanger. “He told us that after several days of beatings he was on the verge of giving in and letting her have a set of heated hair rollers. Luckily, the police found him in the nick of time.” The woman, thirty eight year old Vera Saggers, was committed to a secure psychiatric unit for an indefinite period.

However, whilst Santa might have resolved his most recent stalking issue, he now finds himself facing stalking allegations himself. “It’s been going on for years,” storms forty six year old ambulance driver Stanley Cupper. “Every bloody Christmas that dirty old bastard comes sneaking around my wife’s bedroom while I’m on the festive shift! Don’t think that I don’t know who’s been giving her all that sexy lingerie year after year! It certainly wasn’t me!” Mr Cupper has previously failed to secure injunctions against newsreader Trevor McDonald – who he claimed was always eyeing his wife up whilst presenting News at Ten – and Radio One DJ Scott Mills, who he accused of making lewd propositions to his wife during his drive time show.

Cupper isn’t the first person to make allegations of sexual harassment against Santa. In 2001 he was forced to pay undisclosed damages to a Swindon woman after an unfortunate incident the previous Christmas Eve. “I was lying in bed dozing, after coming back from the pub, when I felt someone climb into the bed – I just thought I was dreaming, so I turned on my side and went back to sleep” explains Tracy Whipsox, who was twenty-two at the time of the unpleasantness. “Just as I was drifting off, I felt something tickling my back, I just thought the dog had got on the bed and mumbled at him to get off. That was when this huge fart rent the air! I swear it lifted the quilt! I span around to find myself face-to-face with this fat old bastard with a huge white beard! He was naked except for a Santa hat, and seemed to be drunk. Worst of all, the filthy old git had followed through!” Shrieking with terror, a severely traumatised Whipsox fled from her room, assuming she had come face-to-face with a dangerous and incontinent rapist. “The old git was so drunk he didn’t even wake up when six police officers burst into my bedroom and handcuffed him,” she says. “It was only when they found his sleigh and reindeer out in the garden and a sack of presents he’d dropped climbing through the window, that they realised who he was!”

After spending the night in police cells, Santa was bailed by his elves the next morning. “As we explained to Miss Whipsox at the time, our client was an elderly man who had been under a lot of stress, with a history of ‘senior moments’,” says Winston Wanger. “Unfortunately, that year’s North Pole Christmas Party had got a bit out of hand and Mr Claus overindulged somewhat. Tired and running late on his deliveries, he became confused and mistook Miss Whipsox’s residence for his own house. In view of the damage caused to his professional reputation by the subsequent late delivery of presents that Christmas, and in view of our generous offer of compensation for the trauma she suffered, not to mention the costs of fumigating her abode after our client’s flatulent outburst, Miss Whipsox kindly agreed to drop all charges.”

But is Santa really the injured party his solicitors depict in these cases? “They always play that ‘confused old man’ card when he gets caught in some woman’s bed or feeling up some young mother in his grotto,” says investigative reporter Les Wackley of the Western Daily Advertiser. “The truth is that he’s a randy old goat who spends Christmas Eve getting pissed on the sherry people leave out for him and abusing his position to try and get his leg over – it is the only chance he gets all year!” Wackley believes that, far from being a stalker, Madge Howlett was actively encouraged by Santa. “He bloody groomed her, just like that Cupper woman, plying her with gifts – the whole stalker business was invented by his lawyers when she wanted a more serious relationship,” the reporter asserts. “As for his abduction, that Saggers bird was a professional dominatrix whose services the old pervert had been using for years. It’s just that that Christmas he lost track of time – the authorities couldn’t risk Santa being revealed as a dirty old man, so colluded with the lawyers in inventing the kidnapping so as to protect the kiddies who still believed in him!”