Tuesday, April 26, 2016

'I've been VICTIM SHAMED by the police'

Lily Allen has accused the police of 'victim-shaming' her after she spoke out about being dissatisfied with their response to her seven-year stalking ordeal.

The singer, who was stalked by Alex Gray, 31, detailed how he had burst into her home while she and her children were sleeping.

He also allegedly threatened to stab her through the face and spent nights hiding in her garden.

The singer read out an email from a Met officer who said that the 'high-profile' nature of her claims could discourage other victims from coming forward.

'I think it's victim-shaming and victim-blaming,' she told BBC Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark.

She also claimed investigators had treated her as a 'nuisance rather than a victim', had destroyed evidence that supported her case, taken away a panic alarm after a few months and even refused to allow her to see and then keep a photo of her stalker.

She added that she would 'not be safe' until Gray received the support he needed for his 'mental illness'.

After the interview, the mother-of-two said she received an email from a Met officer wanting to 'understand what - if anything - went wrong during the investigation' while suggesting Allen's response would dissuade other victims from reporting stalkers.

It read: 'As you know there have been press reports suggesting you were dissatisfied with the response you received.

'Further, due to the high-profile of this matter, I fear other victims of similar crimes have read the story and now may not have the confidence in us to support such matters.

'As such, it is really important I can understand what - if anything -went wrong during the investigation.

'I was saddened to hear of this report, I would like to heard your views on what we could do better.'

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said they take stalking and harassment 'extremely seriously'.

The news comes as the mother of the stalker revealed how she tried to get him sectioned despite psychiatrists claiming there was nothing wrong with him.

Gray, from Perth, Scotland, is currently in jail awaiting sentencing for burglary and harassment after forcing his way into the singer's home while she and her children slept.

Now the stalker's mother Michelle Gray has told how she has failed to have her son detained under mental health laws - adding that police, social services and the NHS have been unable to help him.

Speaking from the laundrette she runs in Benidorm, Ms Gray said: 'I've been trying to get Alex help for 20 years and at every corner I've been told I'm paranoid.

'He had psychiatrists at school saying nothing was wrong with him. I've tried sectioning him a couple of years ago but I'm not allowed because I live in Spain.

'They wouldn't section him until they spoke to him first. He came out of a mental hospital down south and they phoned his sister and asked her if she would take charge of him for Christmas.

'Up to this point they had been forcing him to have injections for his psychological medication because Alex doesn't believe anything is wrong with him because he has got an illness.

'But when he promised he'd take his medication they released him. This was Christmas 2014. He should have been in a specialist unit getting help and medication. He shouldn't have been let out.'

Allen, 30, was first targeted in 2009 on Twitter by user @lilyallenRIP who repeatedly claimed to have written hit song 'The Fear' – and it later emerged Gray was behind the account.

He sent abusive rants, accusations and suicide threats to Allen, and his campaign of stalking left the singer terrified during a gig when he turned up holding a banner saying: 'I wrote The Fear'.

He would hammer on the door of her flat and spend entire nights lurking in the back garden before forcing his way into her bedroom on October 13 last year.

Allen told The Observer: 'The door handle was twisting round. This guy came steaming in and I didn't know who he was. I recoiled and he ripped the duvet off, calling me a 'f****** b****' and yelling about where his dad is.'

Gray was removed from the property by Allen's partner and fled. Police were called and the singer later found her handbag had been stolen.

Allen claimed officers were 'uncomfortable' with her suggestion it was the same stalker, adding: 'Every time I tried to talk to someone about it, it was like hitting a brick wall. The police are saying, 'Right, it's burglary if you want this guy to get a prison sentence', and you're thinking, 'But I don't give a s*** about my handbag'.

Allen revealed last weekend that she has become a 'hermit' after being stalked by Gray, who was convicted of burglary and harassment at Harrow Crown Court and will be sentenced in May.

Allen said she was not angry at Gray because he 'has a mental illness' and was 'failed' by the system.

But she added: 'Until he gets the right treatment and the right help he needs, then I'm not safe. You can throw the book at him, put him in jail, but he'll still be coming out. And the victim is never safe.'

Original report here

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