Stalkers' past crimes may be revealed

AN IPSWICH woman who has suffered 15 years of torment being stalked by her former partner today heard prime minister Tony Blair say a change in the law should help deal with her tormentor.

AN IPSWICH woman who has suffered 15 years of torment being stalked by her former partner today heard prime minister Tony Blair say a change in the law should help deal with her tormentor.

Mr Blair told Ipswich MP Chris Mole that the new Criminal Justice Bill should allow jurors to hear about the previous convictions of the stalker who has made Lisa Ellinor's life misery.

Miss Ellinor, who was mentally abused during a two-year relationship, wrote to Chris Mole after her former partner was acquitted of breaching his restraining order.

Frustrated and afraid, the 34-year-old appealed to her MP to lobby for a change in the law for court cases involving stalking, so a jury could hear the full story relating to the defendant's past crimes.

Previously her ex-boyfriend had been jailed for 18 months for breaching the order preventing him from contacting her, after a catalogue of abuse over 15 years.

She said today: "It was unfair that his arrest was for the same crime but the history is not allowed to be brought up until he is found guilty or not guilty. Nobody knows the 15 years' history before that."

Most Read

Following her stalker's acquittal at Norwich Crown Court last month, Miss Ellinor feels she is the one who is serving a sentence.

She said: "When he is in prison, I am free. When he is out I am in prison. You are constantly on edge."

Miss Ellinor said she hoped Mr Mole's lobbying would strike a chord with others, leading to a groundswell of opinion which would end with a change in the law.

She said: "Chris Mole was saying that in specific cases like this, you need to bring up what has gone on in the past to have a fair trial."

For the six months between her former partner's latest arrest in April and his trial in September, Miss Ellinor said she lived her life without worry because her ex was in custody.

However she is critical of a system which allows the victim only six months to move where they can't be found.

She said: "Six months is a nonsense. It is not enough time for me to sell my house and set up somewhere else. The last thing I said in my letter was 'How do you expect me to live my life'?"

Mr Mole brought up Miss Ellinor's case at prime minister's questions in the House of Commons yesterday.

He asked: "Can he tell me what comfort it will offer to my constituent, Lisa Ellinor, who has been continuously stalked for the last 15 years by the same man?

"She feels that jurors should be given more information about his previous convictions in order properly to protect her from his threatening and unwanted attentions, which make her life a living hell."

Mr Blair said the new bill should enable jurors to be told about previous convictions in cases like that – but said the Conservatives were opposing the change.

"The fact is that they are opposing measures in the Criminal Justice Bill right now, while telling the public that they want firm action against crime.

"The very things that provide firm action against crime they oppose.

"I really think that before the Conservatives start giving us lectures on law and order, they should get their own policy sorted out."

Mr Mole was today delighted to get the prime minister's backing for Miss Ellinor's case.

"This is the kind of situation where it is vital that the jury should know about previous convictions.

"I have been dealing with Miss Ellinor's case since the end of last year, and it is very harrowing to hear what she has been put through," he said.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter