Stalker harassed Sussex police and crime commissioner for five years

Posted On 14 Apr 2018 at 9:42 am

An obsessive stalker from Brighton harassed Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne for five years.

Katy Bourne

The Conservative politician spoke out as she and Sussex Police prepare for National Stalking Awareness Week on Monday (16 April).

The 53-year-old Brighton-educated police commissioner had the job of raising the issue with Sussex Police after 19-year-old Shana Grice, from Portslade, was murdered by a man who stalked her.

The Spearhead

When Shana complained to Sussex Police about Michael Lane, she ended up being cautioned for wasting police time.

Despite her role as a police commissioner, Mrs Bourne found from personal experience that stalking was not being treated seriously enough.

Her case was handled by another force and, after initially ignoring what was happening, she ended up seeking an injunction through the civil courts to deal with a sustained and highly personal campaign.

Writing about her own case, Mrs Bourne said: “I have my own experience of fixated stalking over a five-year period which led me to seek an injunction against a local man who had followed me online and in person and written and posted hundreds of pages of false news and dozens of malicious videos.

“So I have every sympathy for the thousands of victims and I share their frustration when the system doesn’t respond in a compassionate and constructive way.

“That is why I am passionately committed to providing support to victims of stalking.

“It was clear from my review that a comprehensive response was required so I provided a two-year grant totalling £92,500, co-commissioned with Sussex Police, to fund a local specialist service provided by Veritas Justice for victims in Sussex.

“I am really pleased that Sussex Police have acknowledged their training and development needs and that senior officers are as committed as I am to ensuring the force understands stalking.

“One in five women and one in ten men will experience stalking at some stage in their life.

“It became recognised as a criminal offence in 2012 but, six years later, it is still not properly understood.

“Many police forces are still failing victims and this has also been the case in Sussex where we have sadly had some awful cases of stalking, one of which led to the murder of Shana Grice.

“More recently, we had the case of a St Leonards woman who was stalked and tormented by her own husband who was pretending to be someone else.

“I invested a large part of last year’s police precept (the amount you pay for policing in your council tax) into the Public Protection Unit and the force is now better equipped and better trained to recognise and deal with stalking.

“As a result of improvements to training for officers and prosecutors, last year Sussex Police saw an average 300 per cent increase in reports of stalking and three times as many cases have been solved compared to the previous 12 months.

“I will continue to raise awareness of stalking with all our statutory agencies to help give victims the confidence to report it and empower them to fight back.”

A week after Shana Grice’s stalker and killer Michael Lane was jailed for life, just over a year ago, Mrs Bourne raised the force’s handling of the case at a public meeting with Chief Constable Giles York.

Chief Constable Giles York

Mrs Bourne said that a key challenge was to support frontline officers to understand the seriousness of the crimes of stalking and harassment when first described to them and how to join up the dots.

She said: “There’s a lot of learning to come out of the Shana Grice tragedy and I’m sure it won’t just be Sussex Police for which this is an issue. It will be officers up and down the country.”

Mr York said: “Stalking and harassment are difficult to prosecute and also to investigate and it’s about us joining up the dots.

“That’s the significant difference we’ve been trying to make … joining those dots together.

“We have already seen the beginning of an increase of recording of stalking in Sussex. So there is the beginning of green shoots of change coming through.

“Our officers weren’t joining those dots together from harassment into stalking and the sinister element which makes stalking different to harassment.”

  1. Leo Reply

    Any unwanted attention should be dealt with robustly, before it can escalate.

  2. Matt Taylor Reply

    Remember that there are two sides to every story and due to a Court judgement I am forbidden from giving mine.

    For discussion purposes only.

    I refute all claims that I harassed and stalked a particular individual whom I cannot name for legal reasons, but whom I’ll refer to as the Police Prime Minister.

    I simply asked serious questions about police corruption which she and her office choose to ignore.

    To mention but a few of the questions I asked; and which were ignored.

    •I asked why the then Chief Constable Martin Richards retired early?
    •I asked about the murder cover-up (as alleged by David Neilson) of Katrina Taylor, who was killed in 1996, and whose killers are still at large.
    •I asked about the historical child abuse cover-up, as alleged by John Walson.
    •I asked about the events at the Bohemia Police Station in Hastings, at which Brian Setchfield alleged to have seen a murder carried out by Sussex Police officers.

    I’m an ex royal military policeman who believes passionately about law and order.

    I became aware of the Police Prime Minister during the 2012 PCC election .

    I am a writer and editor of Guerrilla Democracy News , a blog which reports the stories mainstream media daren’t report.

    Freedom of Speech…

    I refute any claim that I asked anyone to be present at the charity abseil mentioned in the national press and have no recollection of photoshopping any head onto the body of any woman wearing underwear.

    As reported in the national press, its alluded that I posted an online comment, which reference to a charity abseil, in which I said, “You should have slit her rope.”

    I wish to make clear that this comment was a private message via text and was not published online. I said this comment as black humour to a friend during a private conversation, and only came to light because Surrey Police shared this information with a third party. This comment was never published online, as reported.

    The civil action against me cost taxpayers £26,000. I know this to be accurate via a FOI request.

    The conclusion I have drawn is that Shana Grice reported a real case of harassment and stalking to Sussex police, at which they dismissed, issued a penalty notice against and facilitated her gruesome and untimely murder; where as the Police Prime Minister reported a false case of harassment and stalking to Sussex Police, at which they offered the full resource of their police force, and the neighbouring police force, to investigate.

    Sussex police issued a penalty notice to Shana Grice for reporting harassment and was subsequently ignored . She was killed as a result . Another victim of harassment was told by sussex police that harrassment is a low level crime and that she should pursue the matter through the civil courts . i represented myself in the civil case while she spent £26k of taxpayers money on the country’s best QC to represent her.

    Please note that the criminal charge of harassment was dropped by the CPS due to a lack of evidence.

    I maintain my claims that the Police Prime Minister has issued inaccurate information. She misled the public about being a serial business builder and stated a falsehood when she said she successfully sold her last business to her competitor. A company house search revealed her last company laid dormant for 3 years .

    She misled the public when she promised not to claim expenses while in office only to claim £233 for a train journey to Birmingham.

    She misled the public on the eve of the 2016 PCC elections when she said she had never claimed expenses.

    I am the victim…

    I have been ruined due to malicious claim of stalking and harassment against me. I lost my £35k a year job as a bid writer and was arrested 4 times by sussex police last year. I am currently facing trial for downloading child porn and making a malicious video about the alleged satanic cult leader Ricky Dearman. Both charges I vehemently deny.

    I believe I am a victim of a ruin fraud against me for getting the Police Prime Minister in trouble with the CPS for making a false statement.

    I have done nothing wrong except report and ask serious questions of police corruption which the Police Prime Minister choose to ignore .

    I am forbidden to ever mention her name in public alongside her Chief Executive Officer.

    The judgement ordered I take all reasonable steps to remove my blogs by 27 April 2017. Having voluntarily removed material after my arrest for harassment by Surrey Police on 20 February 2017, and considering I only had access to a computer at the public library, I believe I adhered to the judgement as best as I could.

    I refute all claims that I harassed anyone and believe the fact the CPS decision not to charge me with harassment shows this to be true.

    I am a victim of a concerted campaign by Sussex police and others to ruin me for highlighting serious police corruption within their ranks.

    In a Latest TV The Vote show hosted by Brighton based journalist Frank Le Duc . It was mentioned that there was a trend of police officers retiring early to escape misconduct charges, to which the Police Prime Minister acknowledged to be true .

    Why then did she ignore my questions about Martin Richards retiring early ?

    A FOI request revealed he was investigated for misconduct 14 times in the last year of his office. all 14 cases were deemed to be unsubstantiated by her Chief Executive Officer, himself a good friend of Richards and a Sussex police officer of 30 years .

    The last year has been a nightmare. If it wasn’t for my kids, girlfriend, friends and the truth I would have killed myself.

    I am currently receiving Employment Support Allowance and suffer from anxiety and stress due to what has happened to me.

    The Police Prime Minister claims I’ve been stalking her for 5 years…. According to court documents, she referred to a private meeting at the Dorset Arms pub in East Grinstead on the 20 July 2016, at which she claimed I made a 60 mile round trip from Brighton to attend.

    This is untrue and unfounded.

    I can provide you with an image of a tweet by Visit East Grinstead that published the event as a ‘free event’. At the time I was living at Crawley Down which is in walking distance of East Grinstead. On the night in question I was in East Grinstead having dinner and attended the meeting under the impression it was a free public event.

    I have only seen the Police Prime Minister in public at only two public events and refute all claims I stalked her.

    To suggest I harbour a sexual attraction to her is totally untrue and unfounded.

    I wish to bring to your attention a number of pictures I have photo-shopped and posted, and the reasons why.

    One was of her abseiling down a cliff, to which she claims an associate of mine photographed a security harness, which she found intimidating.

    At the time of the charity abseil she was under investigation by the IPCC for making a false statement during the 2016 PCC elections, and the case was being considered by the CPS for trial.

    I was absolutely right and entitled to describe her career as ‘hanging by a thread’, and the fact she abseiled down a cliff, provided an appropriate illustrated metaphor to accompany my blog.

    It was certainly not my intention to intimidate her, but to purely illustrate a truth.

    She claimed she was “pleased the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has determined there is no case to answer.”

    This is not what the CPS said, and further illustrates the misleading statements she has publically made.

    In fact the CPS said, “It is the investigator’s opinion that there is evidence to suggest [REDACTED] posted her comment to social media in order to influence the outcome of the election on 5 May 2016.”

    “It is highly unlikely that her Facebook comment regarding expenses would have been seen by an audience sufficiently large and had to have made sufficient impact on the voters.”

    I can provide an image of a Facebook comment, which I reported to the Sussex Police Panel, who then reported it to the IPCC.

    At no point did the CPS say she had “no case to answer.”

    I can provide an image depicting Chief Constable Giles York and the Police Prime Minister, superimposed in front of the Shoreham air-show explosion.

    I thought long and hard about posting this but did so in the public interest because it was Sussex Police who released the story, which would otherwise have not been publicly known.

    I posted the picture to accompany a blog which asked why Sussex Police would intentionally made public a private picture shared between police officers?

    The fact they did, when there was no reason to, cause distress to the victims, having been made aware of police officers sharing selfies of themselves standing in front of the burnt remains of their loved ones.

    I still consider it to be a mistake for the story to be published and should have been dealt with, with-in the police ranks.

    It was Sussex Police who painted the picture of the selfie within the reader’s mind’s eye and I simply created my own interpretation using a picture of them at Brighton’s Gay Pride, against the explosion.

    I am willing to take responsibility for the pictures I’ve posted and give the reasons for doing so.

    To summarise….

    I refute all suggestions that I waged a campaign of harassment. I simply took an interest in the PCC elections and commented on the stories written about the Police Prime Minister by the mainstream media.

    I asked relevant and legitimate questions which she choose to ignore. According to her own witness statement, she admits to adopting a policy of ignoring me.

    Is this appropriate for a Police chief, elected to hold the police to account?

    I know the answer; and I trust you agree with me that indeed, it is not appropriate.

    The bottom line is she has misused the harassment law to discredit and ruin me for getting her reported to the CPS for making a false statement and to silence me for asking serious questions about police corruption.

    I have been ruined due to this and my life has been turned upside down, for pursuing a course of action, which in my opinion is in the public’s interest and which prevents and detects crime.

    I am the victim, not her. I stand by my contention she’s misleading the public.

    I sincerely trust and hope you will give my side of the story.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Matt Taylor

  3. Barney Reply

    I’m with Katy Bourne on this, assuming she’s sincere.

    A few years ago I had a stalker, a horrible little woman who did everything she could to disrupt my life. As well as having me followed everywhere I went, she was writing malicious letters falsely accusing me of various criminal acts, and I was all-too aware that she only had to shoot her mouth off in a pub to find willing volunteers to “teach me a lesson”.

    I eventually had no option but to complain to the police (not the Brighton force), who did absolutely nothing apart from calling on me very late at night, threatening to take me into town – 2½ miles away – and leaving me to walk back if I insisted on making a statement.

    It was clear that they had no intention of taking me seriously.

    They were secretly laughing at me behind my back, me a reasonably fit man just over 6 feet tall, and her an evil little witch of little more than five feet, but they chose to ignore the fact that she was never going to personally attack me physically. She planned to persuade others to do her dirty work in this respect.

    Some time later though, she did physically attack me in the street. I’ve never hit a woman, and I didn’t on that occasion. Instead I tried the police again, and again I was ignored until I asked my local MP to intervene, when they grudgingly agreed to take a statement from me weeks later, but that’s all they ever did. I don’t know whether the stalker was even informed.

    I was lucky. The stalking eventually died down, though I’m aware that it could start up again at any time.

    This evil woman tried to have me arrested for crimes she knew I hadn’t committed. She had me followed. I was convinced that one day my home would be burgled, or I would be beaten up by “volunteers” from the local pub. That dangerous woman was capable of anything, but the police refused to get involved.

    IF Katie Bourne is genuine in wanting stalking to be taken seriously, I’ll support her all the way, but I won’t be holding my breath. Too many people have been let down over this kind of thing, and some have been murdered. Will it ever end?

  4. Matt Taylor Reply

    Thanks for your comment Barney; you appear to be a genuine victim of harassment and stalking, as opposed to a particular individual, whom I cannot mention because a court injunction forbids me from doing so.
    How do you feel about the “Crime Tsar” spending £26K of taxpayers money on a civilian injunction against me, while the CPS choose not to criminally prosecute me due to a lack of evidence?

  5. Barney Reply

    Having read your comment, Matt, it does seem that you have been unfairly accused, and I’m inclined to believe your version of events.

    Perhaps I’m mistaken, but it seems to me that “the law” is only applied nowadays when it suits those in power, who consider themselves outside the law, and the same appears to be true of their “attack dogs”, otherwise known as the police.

    If I were to utter a “forbidden word”, my feet would hardly touch the ground, and I’d receive a prison sentence for my “thought-crime” thanks to the cancer of political “correctness” which couldn’t be less correct if it tried, and it seems – at least superficially – that your case could be similar in that to be accused is to be automatically convicted in modern Britain, regardless of truth or evidence.

    It’s long past time for the police to start taking stalking seriously, and for those making false accusations to be dealt with appropriately, but I won’t be holding my breath. There’s very little justice in Orwell’s “Airstrip One” any more, where words, thoughts and attitudes are considered more serious than actual crime.

    The government (all parties) hate the people they supposedly work for, and that has never been as obvious as it is today.

    People will disagree, calling me all kinds of silly names, but it’s not yet illegal to have an opinion.

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