A father who stalked his own daughter – eventually confronting her in Leicester – has pleaded guilty to the offence (10th June).
The man, from Northamptonshire, began following his daughter – who is now 20 – in September 2017 when she moved to the city to study at university.
Her family had tried to stop her from attending university – and when she was 15 had tried to force her into marrying an Albanian man.
She therefore applied for university places in secret, before they eventually agreed to let her attend.
But there were conditions – she was dropped off on Monday and collected on Friday and her parents arranged for a family friend to live with her and report back on what she was doing.
In November 2017, she began receiving threatening messages from her family after they were told she had been seen with a man.
Her father then went to the halls of residence where she was living in an unsuccessful attempt to confront her.
After the incident, she received no further contact from her family, until on one day in April this year, she was told by her boyfriend that her father had returned to Leicester.
On 7 May, she was walking towards university when she was confronted by her father, who grabbed her, pinning her against some railings.
Alerted by what was happening, some members of the public intervened and her father was subsequently arrested.
He pleaded guilty to one count of stalking involving serious alarm or distress at Leicester CC and was handed down nine weeks behind bars, suspended for 12 months.
He was also given a five-year restraining order.
Detective Constable Steve Hobby, from Leicestershire Police’s Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit (DAIU), was the investigating officer.
“When the victim was 15, her family wanted her to marry an Albanian man and she refused because she wanted to go to university.
“While they initially refused to let her go, they eventually agreed – but this was the beginning of what was to follow. They wanted to know what she was doing in Leicester and tried to stop her from living the life she wanted.
“I hope that the fact her father has admitted his crime today can be of some comfort to her.
“She can now go about her life – living it in freedom – without the fear of being confronted by her father. She knows that if she is contacted by him, she can make a further report to police and it will be dealt with accordingly.
“It is important that the cycle of abuse is broken so that support agencies can engage with victims and allow them to have breathing space. That’s what’s happened in this case and can be as beneficial as the sentence given.
“We take all reports of stalking extremely seriously and I hope this case reinforces that message.
“Anyone can fall victim to stalking and I would encourage anybody who thinks they are a victim – or knows someone who is – to report the matter to police.”
If you would like to find out more about getting access to free and confidential help, then CLICK HERE to visit Victim Support.org.uk