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Daily Mail

Isla Traquair who was ‘terrorised’ by stalker accuses police and court docket system of ‘gaslighting’ her


A former newsreader who was subjected to a ‘marketing campaign of vengeance’ by her obsessive neighbour has accused police and the court docket system of ‘gaslighting’ her by downplaying her stalker’s behaviour as a ‘neighbourhood dispute’.

Ex-ITV Information and Channel 5 Information presenter Isla Traquair, 42, mentioned skilled gardener Jonathan Barrett scared her greater than her work as a crime journalist ‘confronting murderers’. 

Barrett prevented jail however was convicted of stalking after a trial heard he stared by way of her home windows, monitored what she ate earlier than coming into her dwelling with a sandwich, and even ‘chainsawed’ bamboo fencing she had put as much as preserve him out.

Talking on BBC‘s Girl’s Hour, Traquair accused police of treating it as a ‘neighbourhood dispute’ and the sensation of not being believed ‘did not cease there’ amid claims she was ‘gaslit’ by the court docket.

One officer spoke to Barrett and advised Traquair he discovered him and his associate to be ‘good and well mannered’ and mentioned he would not be her ‘go-between’.

Ex-ITV Information and Channel 5 Information presenter Isla Traquair, 42, mentioned skilled gardener Jonathan Barrett scared her greater than her work as a criminal offense journalist ‘confronting murderers’

Jonathan Barrett avoided jail but was convicted of stalking after a trial at Salisbury Crown Court

Jonathan Barrett prevented jail however was convicted of stalking after a trial at Salisbury Crown Courtroom

 

 Wiltshire Police later apologised to her and eliminated the officer from her case.

Tranquair additionally claimed she was mocked for being ‘articulate’ in giving an announcement to the court docket as she was a journalist, and was ‘gaslit’ by these working within the authorized system.

A barrister in court docket additionally apologised for the way badly she was handled, she mentioned.

Her stalking ordeal befell between March and September 2021, starting as quickly as she moved into the home close to the small Wiltshire city of Corsham.

She revealed spending hundreds of kilos in a bid to fortify her dwelling and was pressured to name in favours to sleep at buddies’ homes.

Following a trial earlier this yr, Barrett, 54, was ordered to finish 300 hours of neighborhood service and pay £715 in prices after being convicted of stalking at Salisbury Magistrates’ Courtroom.

He was additionally handed a restraining order to not contact Traquair or to enter or look into her property for one yr.

However the ordeal has left its mark on the journalist, who mentioned she has PTSD on account of the ordeal and is scared to even go to the retailers due to his ‘unnatural curiosity’.

Traquair mentioned: ‘Every time I got here out, he was there. He climbed over my again wall, entered my dwelling by way of the conservatory and mentioned, “you have not eaten” so he had been watching me. He left and got here again with a sandwich and watched me eat it.

‘It simply constructed and constructed. It was actually fairly alarming.

‘After that, I put in bamboo screening which resulted in him hacking my hedge. It was then that I contacted the police. I am a criminal offense journalist. I did not wish to name the police and be a sufferer.

‘Shortly after, he adopted me in his van, and I attempted to get away. I phoned the police once more. Initially, with the feminine neighborhood officers, they have been superb. They heard me, they got here up with a plan of motion.

‘However that plan wasn’t carried out the way in which it was speculated to be. I moved out pondering that the police would go round and he would not react effectively as a result of they might inform him I used to be placing up safety cameras and a fence.

‘Nevertheless it did not occur, and nobody had spoken to him. Finally, one officer went round however he mentioned, ‘we sat down with him and his associate, and so they have been good and well mannered. It is a misunderstanding’.

‘I requested if he advised them concerning the fence going up, and he mentioned, ‘no, you’ll be able to inform him your self’. I mentioned I would been advised to not contact him, however the officer mentioned, ‘I can’t be your go-between’.’

The journalist (right) became so terrified of her obsessive stalker that she spent thousands of pounds fortifying her home with fences and security cameras before eventually fleeing her home in the small Wiltshire town of Corsham

The journalist (proper) turned so afraid of her obsessive stalker that she spent hundreds of kilos fortifying her dwelling with fences and safety cameras earlier than finally fleeing her dwelling within the small Wiltshire city of Corsham

Traquair mentioned that was when she had sufficient and took motion, contacting the Chief Inspector.

She defined: ‘I used to be actually scared at this level. I would been shouted and sworn at by the stalker.

‘It felt horrendous. I felt helpless, I felt indignant. I did not know what to do. It was insanity, particularly due to what my job is. I assist victims of crime.

‘They checked out it as a neighbourhood dispute. However he was taken off my case, and the inspector really apologised and mentioned, ‘we ought to be your go-between, that’s our job’, and another person was placed on.’

The presenter stayed with buddies for some time however finally ‘ran out of favours’, so she went to stay together with her brother within the US.

However then she heard the Crown Prosecution Service have been dropping her case as a result of it wasn’t an issue anymore.

She wrote to the Wiltshire Chief Inspector and when the case was again on monitor, she mentioned they refused to grant her request to offer an announcement by video hyperlink.

After paying ‘hundreds’ to fly again to the UK, Traquair then mentioned she was mocked for being ‘articulate’.

She continued: ‘I used to be gaslit in the course of the case, and half of the proof wasn’t given to the barrister. She really apologised after and mentioned I had been badly let down.

‘I used to be gaslit for being articulate. The defence have been saying “you are a journalist, you are good with phrases aren’t you?” He was criticising who I used to be as an individual. I wasn’t a very good sufferer.

‘I am not okay. It has devastated me. I’ve confronted murderers, and that did not scare me anyplace close to the extent of terror I went by way of residing on this idyllic countryside dwelling.

‘I’ve nightmares, I’ve PTSD. I have been going to remedy. Even going to the retailers…I simply really feel unsafe on the planet. It has shaken me to my core.

‘What he stole from me…Stalking victims are serial victims. What a stalker takes from you, you can not get again. And that is your sense of security. I am a possible sufferer for the remainder of my life as a result of stalkers do not simply cease.’

Ms Traquair, initially from Aberdeen, just lately labored on the Oprah Winfrey Community within the US and launched a real crime podcast ‘The Storyteller: Violent Delights’.

Talking to Girl’s Hour in response to Traquair’s interview, Wiltshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills mentioned: ‘I’m actually sorry to listen to that. What we are attempting to do is enhance the response, to attempt to enhance requirements.

‘Among the challenges which have come out from the historical past of that is officers with the ability to perceive the threats and danger in stalking instances.’

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