Monday 8th February 1993

At about 9.20pm, I drive home from Fareham College towards our estate and see his car parked in the * pub.  Sheer panic.  I drive around the corner into B* Lane, stop the car and run into a house to call the police; I’m so desperate.  I don’t know whose house or if I’d know which one it is now.  His car has gone by the time the police arrive.

Tuesday 9th February 1993

Returning from Gang Show rehearsal tonight, I see his car in the petrol station at the entrance to our estate (which is nowhere near his house).  I go home and tell my husband [A] who goes straight over there.  I then phone a friend * – a police officer – who drives and parks next to his car.  I also phone the police station, which he has advised me to do.  A and * eventually see him walking along the edge of the estate and he’s arrested.  He is kept in cells overnight.  I then have to make another statement.

Wednesday 10th February 1993

I go to work as normal – feeling quite high as I know where he is; locked up.  At about 8.30am the phone rings; it is the police telling me I am required in court as a witness.  I freak out.  I’ve never been inside a courtroom.  I’ve only seen what’s been on TV in dramas.  The thought of it absolutely terrifies me and I go to pieces.  I ring my counsellor and she agrees to come with me.  I really need her support.

It’s in Gosport Magistrates Court and we sit in the courthouse waiting area in the midst of all the people waiting for their hearing; the perpetrators.  They are all sitting around us, some being advised by their solicitors…it frightens me to death.

Because TS (TS = The Stalker) is pleading not guilty to breaching his bindover (he had been ordered to stay away from my husband and I previously), he will be appearing last.  Brilliant, so I’ve got to sit here and stress myself stupid over it, not just the court but having to face him.

It actually starts at about 12.45pm which has given me literally hours to get worked up and even more anxious and stressed.  The longer we sit there, the worse it gets.  You see these films where people get ripped to shreds by the lawyers; is that going to happen to me?  I am already on sleeping pills because of him, what else can I take to make this fear go away?  I have no idea what to expect.

I am the only witness that has been called so it is basically my word against his.

I am in a panic when I am called in and the first thing I see is him sitting there.  I’ve got a quiet voice and the magistrate keeps saying “Can you speak up please Mrs Sant, we can’t hear you”.  I don’t want to speak up, I don’t want to be here; I want to be invisible because he can see me and he is forcing me to do this; it feels like the legal system is colluding with him…giving him a seat on the front row to watch me…which is why we’re here.

They offer me a seat and once I sit down he can’t quite see me.  I swear on the Bible.  The prosecution asks me some questions and I was crying a bit.  The cross-examination comes and it’s a local solicitor with distinctive eyes, he scared me before I even knew he was TS’s solicitor – I’d seen him outside in the corridors dealing with other clients.

It is all “Oh come on Mrs Sant, do you really think my client was outside the shops in order to spy on you? Had he got no right to be there?”

“What reason do you have to think he was following you?  Do you expect us to believe he’s going to all this trouble just to harass you?”

I just break down and say “He’s following me.”

This isn’t fair – I’m the one on trial – it feels like it.  Why can’t they see?  It gets to the point where they just let me go because I am in such a state.  TS doesn’t go into the witness box – he actually has a choice!

Once I get outside I have a good cry.  He’s putting me through it again.  I just hid behind the witness box, I didn’t want to look at him to see if he was watching me.

Looking back, I felt like I was on trial; I had to expose my life.  That was nothing compared to what I had yet to face over the coming years.  I was 25 and I didn’t know how to handle it.  I later learned that he was let off because of my state in the witness box.  If I’d gone in there being as hard as nails they would probably have let him off because they’d have thought I wasn’t being adversely affected by what he was doing, yet I was genuinely terrified and he got off anyway.

The Chief Magistrate wasn’t very sympathetic.  He was very hard.  Later I saw a report that he’d been prosecuted himself.  That man judged me; what right did he have when he was doing illegal things himself?!

Both the CPS and his solicitor came to me in the waiting room – everyone else had gone by then.  They advised me to get an injunction against him.  What a farce.  His own solicitor!  He’d just pulled me to bits in the witness box and now he’s trying to help me.  I know he was just doing his job when he was in the courtroom but it’s still pretty hard to take.  I know everyone is entitled to a fair defence, but how can people defend clients by twisting and manipulating the truth at the expense of innocent people?  It doesn’t make sense to me.

Several times I was asked a question and I’d start, “Yes, but…” and they’d cut me off.  As far as they were concerned I’d answered yes and as that suited their purposes that was all that mattered.  They didn’t want to hear the full story, to put things in perspective.  They didn’t want explanations.  There was a reason for everything and those reasons would have found him guilty but I wasn’t given the chance to offer them.

I was telling the truth but because of my emotional state they decided that wasn’t good enough.  It was like I was written off again for being a paranoid emotional female (words said to me by my boss two months earlier).

The police have done all they can and it ends like this.  All that effort for what?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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