Stalking: My ex-partner sent me 4,000 emails
“I asked to be left alone, I asked him to go on with his life and let me live mine. I told him that I was scared, my children were scared, but nothing helped.”
For nearly 12 months, Michael Cook, 31, has been persecuting his former partner after ending their relationship.
He would contact her every day – threatening to commit suicide or asking for forgiveness – despite being asked to leave her alone.
“In total, I received over 4,000 emails, over 300 calls and hundreds of messages.
“Just because the messages weren’t direct or harmful threats, it doesn’t mean they can’t have the same emotional impact.
“I had to change my whole life to ensure that my children and I were kept safe for all this. I have yet to keep it and my life will never be the same again.”
Cook, from Litherland in Liverpool, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for one year after pleading guilty to stalking at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday.
He was also given a five-year restraining order which prevented him from contacting his former partner.
“Constant suicide threats”
Her victim issued a statement through the police describing the ordeal that subjected her.
“I had constant suicide threats, accusations made against me of a serious nature, I was persecuted and persecuted at all times, on a daily basis, many times a day.
“Whether it’s social media, phone, email or any platform I was reachable on, including PayPal.
“This did not stop there, including my family members, my children, their partners, my friends and work colleagues.”
Feeling scared and vulnerable, the victim contacted Merseyside police who initiated an investigation. Despite their involvement, Cook continued to haunt her.
“His behaviors were always considered acceptable to him as” he loved me “apparently by apologizing for his behaviors and rationalizing why he was constantly contacting me.
“This behavior is inappropriate and love does not cause you so much emotional distress and heartache that your mental health is compromised.”
The victim says she now knows that her ex-partner had shown similar behavior earlier and wants to encourage women to get the Clare Law disclosed to their partner.
This scheme, named after Clare Wood, who was assassinated in 2009, allows people to turn to the police to find out if their partner has a history of domestic violence.
“I’m just making this claim in the hope that any woman or man who has had or is experiencing similar behavior from an ex-partner will recognize that this is wrong.
“As a victim I know how easy it is to blame yourself, but please don’t do it, seek and get support. Don’t stand it.”
Stalking Charity Protection Against Stalking says that cases like these are not unusual.
He says he has also seen the number of cases he has treated double since the coronavirus blockade came into effect.
“Blocking does not mean blocking for an obsessed stalker,” says strategic adviser Jan Berry.
“In the past two weeks, we have successfully supported clients to obtain 11 court protection orders.
“It is important that people recognize stalking behaviors and seek advice and support to stay safe.”
Merseyside police chief inspector Siobhan Gainer said the case against Cook clearly demonstrates how stalking causes alarm and distress to the victims.
“We understand that in the current blockade, stalking victims may feel more vulnerable due to the limitation of their movements and the potential stalking behavior that continues.
“We want to reassure them that we will continue to support them in this difficult time.”
Anyone who believes they are being stalked is encouraged to contact the police or call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.