'I was stalked like in Baby Reindeer'

A woman has said she was in a "constant state of alert" when her life was hijacked by a man who stalked her.

Lindsey Goldrick Dean, from Somerset, met a man online in 2004 who continued to stalk her for more than 12 years.

She had a box of ashes delivered to her, numerous e-mails and even saw his hands come through the letter box and had a window smashed.

She has spoken after the hit Netflix show Baby Reindeer, which is based on the story of how comedian Richard Gadd was stalked by a woman.

"I thought Baby Reindeer was really well done," Ms Goldrick Dean said.

"There are parts of it that didn't happen to me, but I totally related to it."

Ms Goldrick Dean had told the man that things were "not going anywhere" following a few dates, but he went on to abuse her online, create a malicious website about her and came to her house.

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"I went to the police and they asked me what did I want them to do about it. I said clearly it's harassment," she said.

"I had a box of ashes delivered to me from the perpetrator, incessant phone calls, lots and lots of emails that clearly said that he hadn't taken on board that I'd said it was over.

"He continued to let me know he was watching me. He came to my house, I saw his hands come through the letter box, a window was smashed.

"I was frightened. I didn't know what he was going to do next. It hijacked my life, my sense of security. It completely takes over your life. Looking back, I was in a constant state of alert."

Ms Goldrick Dean successfully brought a High Court harassment case against her stalker in 2018, who agreed to pay undisclosed damages.

Baby Reindeer started as a one-man stage show, which Gadd performed at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Ms Goldrick Dean said she related to the show because of what happened to her.

"You see the impact the stalking is having on him [Richard Gadd] and the disruption of routines, the fear and the anxiety," she said.

"That happened to me too."

Baby Reindeer poster
Jessica Gunning plays Martha in Baby Reindeer - the troubled fantasist who stalks a man named Donny in the Drama [Netflix]

Detective chief inspector Roger Doxsey is responsible for investigating stalking cases for the Avon and Somerset police force area.

"Documentaries and dramas like Baby Reindeer can be really helpful in terms of policing," he said.

"One of our issues for the force is getting people to understand what stalking is.

"The drama got people talking and understanding.

"It can encourage people to report stalking and we have seen an increase in cases reported to us."

In the Avon and Somerset police area, 3,000 cases of stalking were reported in 2003, Det Ch Insp Doxsey said.

"If you're worried, pick up the phone and we can figure out how to help you," he added.

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