Dear stalker... DO ONE!
Creepy obsessives are making people’s lives hell more than ever before...
‘I’m in constant fear’
Faking a call from my friend, Jackie, 47, I muttered some lame excuse and swiftly left the bar. My latest would-be Prince Charming had turned out to be a chav in sports gear. Oh, well, plenty more fish in the sea, I sighed. Fitting, really, as I was back on Plentyoffish within hours! A few days later, in December 2016, my phone buzzed.
Hi, how are you? read a message from Tony, 43. ‘He’s a bit of all right,’ I thought. We chatted, and he mentioned the town of Beverley, near Hull.
That’s where I grew up!
I typed. I felt safer knowing we had that connection. Two weeks later, I went to Anthony Mark Gray’s house for coffee, and met him for drinks the following day. He turned up with a big bunch of flowers!
I wasn’t used to being treated like a princess. Soon, I was smitten.
A few months on, an angry emoji popped up on my phone. Why haven’t you messaged me since lunchtime? asked Tony. Eh? My job at a housing association was full-on.
Work was busy… I replied. But Tony changed. He became obsessed with who I’d spoken to or where I’d been, and hated me spending time with my boys – George, 16, Harry, 20, and Ben, 23.
I hoped it was just a bad patch, and me and Tony jetted off to Gran Canaria in May 2017.
But, just a week in, a misunderstanding about a food order turned into a blazing row.
I felt sick. Where was my knight in shining armour?
That August, after several attempts, I finally ended it.
But my nightmare was only just beginning…
I know your routine. I’ll always know what you’re doing, texted Tony.
He refused to accept it was over. He’d call up to 20 times an hour!
I blocked his number, but he rang from work phones and phone boxes.
My stomach churned whenever his name popped up.
He came to my house early one morning, shouting over the fence.
Then he said he’d been at the same The Script concert, standing next to me.
I was a nervous wreck.
A few weeks on, at a football match, my phone pinged.
I’m behind you, he texted.
I burst into tears. I couldn’t handle it any more.
The next day, I went to the police, and Tony was arrested. In September, he pleaded guilty to harassment without violence and was issued a restraining order, banning him from contacting or visiting me.
Finally, my life could go back to normal.
But, in January this year, his name popped up on my phone.
Are you all right? he texted.
I did love you.
And, despite breaching the restraining order three times, Tony was only slapped with a £300 fine.
I was mortified. Why wasn’t my stalker in jail?
That’s the whole point of a restraining order, isn’t it? What’s the deterrent otherwise? I now live in constant fear. I’m now in a new relationship with a lovely man. But I’m always looking over my shoulder…
My Prince Charming became a stalker