Sunday, February 05, 2012

Cyberstalker: "You Ruined Her Life"

By Claire Ellicott

An obsessed television producer who stalked his ex-classmate for nearly a decade was jailed yesterday after he sent her an anniversary card marking the sixth year of her restraining order against him.

Sentencing Elliot Fogel, 37, to two years in prison, Judge Ian Darling branded his behaviour ‘sinister and deeply concerning’ and said he was jailing him for the good of the public.

The former Sky Sports news producer Googled Claire Waxman’s name 40,000 times in a year, posed as a prospective parent at her child’s nursery, broke into her car and made hundreds of late-night phone calls to her.

As a result of his nine-year campaign of harassment, Mrs Waxman, 36, a therapist, claims she suffered a miscarriage, developed an eating disorder and had been forced to move home five times. It is the third time Fogel, who the prosecution described as the ‘stalker who will not stop stalking’, has breached his restraining order and the second time he has been jailed to protect the mother-of-two.

In the latest breach, on February 1, 2011, Fogel drove along a road in Willesden, north-west London, where Mrs Waxman regularly parked and slowed down before giving her a ‘sinister’ grin.

Shortly before, he had been called a ‘vexatious’ litigant after bringing a civil case against her which alleged that she had created a hate campaign against him on Facebook. The case was dismissed and Mrs Waxman is suing the Crown Prosecution Service for £5,000 because it failed to prosecute Fogel for bringing legal action against her because it said it would have breached his human rights.

Although Fogel claimed he was using the route as a short cut home from the hearing, the judge said: ‘I’m satisfied that you drove slowly and sinisterly up behind her and when she looked you smiled at her before driving off.’

Judge Darling said Fogel’s ‘compulsive and enduring obsession’ meant that he posed a high risk to the public and there was no option but to give him a custodial sentence.

He told him: ‘You have plagued her life for many years and you have literally ruined it. You have mentally terrorised her over many, many years and her life will never and can never be the same.

‘Your actions have not just affected her, they have also impacted on her family, her children, her wider family and her friends, so widespread and calculating you have been.’

The Inner London Crown Court heard that Fogel allegedly posted a card to Mrs Waxman on January 16 – the sixth anniversary of his restraining order – while he was on bail awaiting sentence for his third breach. Although the card was unsigned, she said the ‘tenor’ and timing convinced her it was from him.

Fogel, of Edgware, north-west London, first developed an unhealthy obsession with Mrs Waxman when the pair were A-level students together at a college in St Albans, Hertfordshire. She demanded he leave her alone and she heard nothing more until she received a dinner invitation from him ten years later in 2003, which she declined.

Later that year, he was seen jogging on the spot outside her home and he began spending more time around her workplace. After his arrest, a police search of his computer revealed he had her wedding photographs as a screensaver and a Google Earth aerial map of her home. It also emerged that he had posed as a prospective parent at the nursery her daughter attended and had also paid for background searches to be carried out on both her husband, Marc, 35, who works in marketing, and her father.

In 2006, Mrs Waxman obtained a restraining order banning him from going near her home, her work or her parents’ address, which he repeatedly breached, even after being jailed for 16 weeks last year.

Yesterday Fogel showed no emotion as he was jailed.

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