Life

Radio review: iPM, dealing with a violent stalker

Nuala McCann

iPM Radio 4

They met 25 years ago and, although he was a bit eccentric, she thought he was interesting and they became good family friends.

He got to know her husband and became godfather to their son.

But gradually he became a little too interested in their son's education and slightly invasive. He became her stalker.

iPM lets the listeners tell their stories and this one was chilling to the core. You can listen again on the iPM website.

There were letters, silent phone calls and, after six years, he was issued with an injunction.

He broke the injunction twice and then there was the night when the woman and her husband had been out and came home and went to bed.

“We woke up at about 3am or 4am in the morning to a strange scraping noise. It was like someone was scraping ice off the car. But it was spring,” she said.

Puzzling, she thought. Perhaps the cat had brought something down?

In the morning at 6.50 the door bell went.

“My husband went downstairs in his dressing gown and my stalker was at the door with a gun.”

The pair barricaded themselves in the bedroom but the stalker had a bladed hammer to break the door down. It reads like a scary film script but it's reality... it was one woman's too real story.

Years later, she said there were still some bits of her so “emotionally dented” that they'll never be straight again.

Several listeners responded. One emailed about another stalker: “She'll follow my husband's customers and tell them he's a murderer.”

A man wrote: “In one year, one man has reduced my wife and I to shadows of our former selves.”

“I feel I will look over my shoulder for the rest of my life,” said someone else.

iPM followed up the subject with a fascinating interview with a psychologist who works with stalkers. Most stalkers do not think they are stalking, she pointed out.

Her advice was simple and clear. If someone stalks you, at the very earliest opportunity, be as assertive as you can be in telling them to stop.

Be really clear... and keep records of everything.

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