Two women stalked by Harlow man speak out about experience

Crime / Thu 4th May 2023 at 09:59am

TWO women stalked by their ex-partner have spoken out about the torment they experienced, to help spread awareness of its psychological impact.

Speaking after the man’s sentencing last week and following an investigation led by our Domestic Abuse Investigation Team (DAIT), they’ve said that they now feel hopeful for their next steps.

Victor Garcia, 36, of Meadow Court, Harlow, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday 28 May. He had previously plead guilty to stalking two women.

Garcia’s behaviour began to escalate in early 2019. His ex-partner reported noticing that her belongings had been rearranged in her home, that her car had been moved without her permission and that money had been taken from her bank account.

She also reported that Garcia had loitered at her workplace and bombarded her with calls and messages.

Speaking about the impact his behaviour has had, she said:

“As a result of Victor’s actions, I have become more stressed and suffer from sleepless nights. When I do sleep, it’s very light and I hear the slightest noise. 

“When I would see Victor when I was out, he would petrify me. I go into ‘fight or flight’ mode and I just want to run away. I’m still worried about going out, so I make sure I’m not alone. 

“I didn’t know that after four years I would still feel this way and I hope that now he’s been convicted, I can try and move forward.”  

Unbeknown to her, Garcia had also begun stalking another of his ex-partners the same year. She also contacted Essex Police to report that he had sent her alarming messages, such as commenting on where he had seen her that day, sent her unwanted gifts and called her repeatedly. 

She would also return home to find that her belongings had been moved.
She said:

“As a result of Victor’s actions, I have suffered from sleepiness, anxiety, stress, fear of coming home when it is too dark, constantly looking over my shoulder and jumping at the slightest noise. 

“Victor’s actions affected my personal life as well as my professional life and what he did is still on my mind despite four years passing”.

Both reports were investigated by a specialist officer working within Essex Police’s Domestic Abuse Investigation Team (DAIT), who investigate crimes committed by a family member, current or ex-partner.
Garcia was charged with two counts of stalking and admitted both charges ahead of his trial.

At Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday 28 May, he was given a one-year sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to undertake 20 days of rehabilitation, 150 hours of unpaid work and attend 40 sessions of therapy.

He was also made subject of an eight-year restraining order to safeguard both women and their families. 
The lead investigator for the case, DC Brian Sitch, said:
“Stalking is a deeply personal and distressing crime, and both women have been incredibly strong throughout this investigation.
“Life can be challenging enough without being subjected to constant messaging, calls or even being made to doubt your surroundings.
“Whether you’ve had any kind of relationship with that person in the past, they have no right to intrude on your life and cause you to fear violence.

“If the victims in this case hadn’t come forward, Garcia’s behaviour could have continued to escalate and that’s why restraining orders, enforced rehabilitation and therapy is so important. 
“Psychological injuries can often take much longer to heal and we need to work together to spot the signs and tackle this pattern of behaviour as soon as we can.”

If you recognise any of the behaviour mentioned in this article and have been reflecting on your actions, it’s not too late to make a change.
Please visit The Change Project for advice on how to make a difference to you, your family, and your partners in the future. 
If you’re a survivor of abuse looking for community support in your area please visit the Essex Compass website. 
If you want to learn more about how to report abuse offences, you can find more information, including how to delete your recent web browser history, on our advice and information pages.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

No Comments for Two women stalked by Harlow man speak out about experience:

Leave a Comment Below:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *