Chip shop stalker
A menace left Charlotte Kendall, 20, from Havant, too terrified to go out alone…
Scooping fries into the paper, I chatted away to a regular customer.
‘Enjoy your dinner,’ I smiled, handing him his fish and chip supper.
It was an October evening last year, around 8.15pm, and we were about to hit our quietest part of the day.
I’d worked in the chippy for three years and loved it.
When I’d first started the job, I’d been a shy teenager with buckets of nerves.
Now I was confident and had a great rapport with the regulars.
As I cleaned down the worktops, I heard the door swing open.
‘Portion of fish and chips, please,’ said a man with a bald head and stubble.
‘Of course,’ I replied with my usual grin.
Heaping chips onto the paper, I noticed the man was standing very close to the counter.
I assumed he was smelling the chips.
‘I’m a police officer,’he then blurted.
Nodding and smiling, I placed his cod on top.
‘There’s been quite a few murders round here,’ he said. ‘Oh, right,’ I replied. ‘It’s a bad neighbourhood this,’ he added.
I knew he was talking nonsense, and he seemed very odd.
Still, he was a customer, so I just smiled at him.
‘How long have you worked here? Where do you live? What’s your name?’ he barked.
One question after another. That’s a bit much, I thought. His gaze fixed on me, and I suddenly felt uncomfortable. ‘That’s £5.20,’ I stuttered, ignoring his questions and handing him his food. I hoped he’d see it as his cue to leave. But he just carried on. Not once did he take his eyes off me as he wittered
on, asking endless questions.
When I moved, so did he.
My boss was cleaning nearby and noticed what was going on.
‘We’re closing now, thank you,’ she said sternly.
Thankfully, the strange bloke left.
But by then, he’d been harassing me for 20 minutes.
‘He was starting to freak me out,’ I said, relieved. I tried to forget about it. Only, two weeks later, I was chatting to a regular about my upcoming holiday to Cornwall.
‘I can’t wait, all those pasties and ice creams,’ I laughed. I heard the door swing open. Looking over towards the entrance, I felt my stomach drop. Him again! Seeing the fear on my face, my boss stepped in. ‘How can I help?’ she asked. He placed his order with her, but he stared right at me the whole time
he was speaking. I grimaced.
What’s his problem? I thought. He was sending shivers down my spine and I felt so uncomfortable.
Again, I tried to forget about him after he’d left.
Only, one evening, I was scrolling through work emails.
I was also an animal portrait artist, drawing people’s pets.
One new message.
I’d like a commission, please. This is my number… it read.
Great! I thought. At the end of the message were a dozen kisses.
I found that a bit strange, but I decided to ignore it.
I needed the money, and a
commission was a commission. What portrait are you looking for? I texted. Within seconds, my phone bleeped again. How old are you? Are you single? it said. What on earth?! The phone bleeped again. A message about my upcoming holiday to Cornwall. I was shocked. How did this person know so much about me? Another message came through on the phone. You work with food, right? I know the hours you work.
By now, I was really starting to freak out.
But as more messages streamed in, something suddenly clicked. It was him. The creepy guy from the chippy.
I realised he must’ve picked up one of the animal portrait business cards I displayed in the chip shop.
The cards had my phone number on them.
Over the next hour, he sent around 50 messages. And he tried to call me dozens of times, too. Terrified, I blocked his number. Then I knocked on my mum’s bedroom door.
‘Look at these,’ I cried, showing my mum, Colette, 53, the messages. She was shocked and worried. ‘I think we should go to the police,’ Mum said. So I did. ‘He’s known to us, his name is Terry Waymark,’ an officer said.
All they could say was that he had a history of harassing women.
Officers suggested I send one reply, telling Waymark not to contact me again.
Then, if he did, they would take action against him. Doing as they said, I sent a text to Waymark and then waited for him to reply. Meanwhile, I changed my shifts at work, hoping I could avoid bumping into him again. But I was a nervous wreck from then on. I didn’t know this creep – or what he was capable of. A million things raced through my mind when I imagined what he could do to me. ‘You’ve been so quiet,’ my boss said. Mum would have to walk me to and from work every day, and sometimes I’d take my lurcher Rosie along. Checking over my shoulder wherever I went, I felt like he was watching me. Waiting. And, a few days later, more messages came through. Can I call you? What you doing?
I knew it was him, using a different number.
I notified the police straight away, and this time, they arrested him immediately.
Thankfully, with my call log and the screenshots of messages, officers had enough evidence to charge him.
And, to my relief, he was held on remand.
In March this year, Terry Waymark, 36, appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court, charged with stalking involving serious alarm or distress.
He denied everything, so I had to give evidence. Terrified, I cried throughout my part of the hearing.
It was horrible having to recount how he had made me feel.
But Waymark was found guilty, jailed for four years and handed an indefinite restraining order.
And it turned out that I wasn’t his first victim, either. He’d previously been jailed for harassing another woman and sending threatening letters.
He was also a convicted arsonist. Chilling. I’m just glad we’re all safe now that he’s locked up. If I hadn’t have gone to the police when I did, who knows how far Waymark would have gone.
I shudder to think what he could have done to me.
Even though he’s locked up now, his actions have had a lasting impact on my life.
I’m no longer taking local portrait commissions, and barely go out alone. All because of him.
I wasn’t his only victim
I’d just been polite to him
He found me through my illustrations
My evidence convicted him