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Dear Richard Madeley: ‘My neighbour is lying to police about my stalker’

As The Telegraph's Agony Uncle, I weigh in on your dilemmas – the good, the bad and the ugly

'This incident has upset me more than anything the stalker has done so far' Credit: Getty Images

Dear Richard, 

I have a stalker who lives in the same block of flats as me. It’s an unpleasant situation, but police and the local authority are involved. I am building a dossier of evidence and if he persists in his behaviour I am confident that some neighbours and I will be able to put him away.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the lobby of my block chatting with a neighbour. My stalker erupted from the lift and started hurling abuse and threatening me. He noticed the neighbour and swept out of the lobby.

The neighbour asked me what it was all about. I briefly explained that this was just the latest incident of many and asked if he would support me with a witness statement. He said he ‘didn’t want to get involved’. I did report the incident and the police spoke to this neighbour, but he failed to corroborate my account of what had happened. Since then, I feel as if he has gone out of his way to avoid me.

I’m gobsmacked that any man, especially one who seemed sensible and decent, could simply stand by and then tell the police that he hadn’t seen anything. In fact, this incident has upset me more than anything the stalker has done so far. Should I challenge my neighbour in some way?

– Sally, via email

Dear Sally, 

This guy isn’t worthy of a moment more of your time or attention. He failed to defend you when you were threatened, face-to-face, in the flesh; not very impressive, but maybe he was unused to conflict and afraid. But then he didn’t even have the moral courage to make a statement in the safety and security of a police station. ‘Me? I didn’t see nuffink. I don’t know nuffink. I got nuffink to say.’

Assuming he’s not in trouble with the police himself, he’s clearly a sad case, Sally: chicken-hearted, fearful. He’s like the priest and the Levite in the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan. A traveller, mugged and left for dead on the roadside, is scrupulously avoided by two men who ought to know better – they avert their eyes and hurry by. (‘Me? I didn’t see nuffink. I don’t know nuffink,’ etc.) Then a Samaritan stops, bathes the victim’s wounds, replaces his shredded clothes and lends him money.

You could have done with a Samaritan in the lift lobby that day, Sally. But bad luck for you, you got a pusillanimous priest or lily-livered Levite. Timeless types, I’m afraid, who’ll be forever with us.

Don’t waste your time challenging this utterly inadequate man. Treat him with the silent contempt he deserves. Move on – and I hope you find better allies in your struggle to free yourself from this nasty predicament.

If you are a victim of stalking, go to Suzy Lamplugh or call 0808-802 0300 for advice


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