Northern Ireland news

Aontú councillor Denise Mullen reveals 'living hell' of stalker rape and death threats

Aontú councillor Denise Mullen. Picture by Mark Marlow
Connla Young

A Co Tyrone councillor has spoken of her “living hell” at the hands of a stalker who threatened to rape and kill her.

Aontú representative Denise Mullen revealed that she has been targeted with 900 malicious phone calls since last April.

Ms Mullen is a prominent victims’ campaigner whose father Denis was shot dead by the notorious loyalist Glenanne Gang in 1975.

The 48-year-old from Moy last night said the vile abuse has included threats to rape and murder her.

She also revealed that she spent several days in hospital before Christmas for a stress-related illness and has been told she is suffering from “extreme anxiety”.

The mother-of-two said legislation to deal with stalkers must be urgently introduced at Stormont.

Unlike in Britain and the south, there is currently no specific offence of stalking and justice minister Naomi Long has said bringing forward new laws is a priority.

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Ms Mullen said she has broken her silence in a bid to help others facing a similar plight.

She said new legislation would “stop further anguish and anxiety”.

The Mid Ulster councillor, who previously represented the SDLP, said she began receiving calls from her stalker days after distributing election material which included her phone number.

“You don’t know if you are coming or going,” she said.

“You could not go to the shops, you don’t know if the person will be watching you.

“It was just a living hell.”

Read More: Relatives of Glenanne Gang victims pledge to keep fighting for the truth

She said the experience has left her fearing for her life.

“You are afraid of a bomb under your car, afraid of being knifed at the door.

“My life has been at a standstill.

“I have been lying low, I can’t cope with it.”

Ms Mullen, who is a former chair of the Mid Ulster Policing and Community Safety Partnership, added that she was disappointed by the PSNI response to her case.

“They don’t seem to have the mechanism to deal with someone being stalked like that."

She also claimed “there are no services for support” for people in her position.

Police were contacted yesterday but were unable to provide a response.

There is cross-party political and policing support for legislation to create a specific offence of stalking.

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