Why more must be done to stop stalkers
Joshua Stimpson made headlines last week when he was jailed for life for the brutal murder of his ex-girlfriend, student Molly Mclaren, 23. Stimpson, 26, stabbed Molly to death outside her local gym in Chatham, Kent, on 29 June 2017. The frenzied attack included 75 stab wounds to the neck, chest and throat. Worryingly, Molly – who briefly dated Stimpson after meeting on Tinder in July 2016 – had previously reported him to the police on two occasions for harassment and online stalking, but he was only given a verbal warning.
Molly’s heartbroken mum, Joanne, said last week that her daughter’s death had left her feeling “completely empty”.
Another mum who understands how that feels is Tricia Bernal. Her daughter Claire, 22, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Michael Pech, in September 2005. Two weeks earlier, he had pleaded guilty to harassment in court, but had been released on bail by police before sentencing.
Here, Tricia – now a trustee of the national charity Prevention Against Stalking – tells Closer how more needs to be done to protect victims before it’s too late.
Stimpson was jailed for life last week for brutally murdering his ex-girlfriend
CCTV showed Stimpson following Molly into the gym moments before the attack