independent

Monday 16 September 2019

Woman asks for help in tackling Facebook stalker

A WEXFORD woman has appealed for help in preventing an online stalker creating false profiles of her on Facebook.

Annmarie has said she has been harassed for almost five years both in person and online by the same man.

The Egyptian-born man first met Annmarie in 2010 when he began working in the same small restaurant in which she was employed.

'At first he just seemed so clueless. It was like banter at the start but then it all spiralled out of control,' she said on RTE's Radio 1 Liveline.

'But then he began asking for marriage and buying me presents. He waited until he had the chance to have me on my own and insisted I take a bottle of perfume that he bought me.'

Annmarie reported the incident to her boss the next day and 'soon after that, he wasn't working there any more', she told presenter Joe Duffy.

However, the man began to text Annmarie daily with content from the 'sickening to really violent' leading her to bring the matter to the attention of gardai.

'They transferred all the messages over to their system - about 540 messages in the space of about two weeks. Eventually they tracked him down and he was deported back to his own country,' she said.

She next heard from the man, then living in Egypt, in November 2013 who wanted to wish her 'happy birthday'.

She ignored this, but since then the man located her social profile on Facebook two weeks later and 'hasn't stopped since'.

'I report really violent pages every morning that he creates for me, my friends and even my 11-year-old daughter. Most of them go on FB at 3am and 4am every morning so I try to get on and report them before anyone else is awake,' said Annmarie.

'These pages offer our "services" for a price. I've even had men coming to my workplace and calling my phone late at night. He was arranging meetings pretending to me. Not long after that I changed my phone number.'

Annmarie said that she doesn't 'bother the gardai with it any more' as 'I've been told he's not breaking the law'.

Facebook contacted the Liveline show after listening to Annmarie speaking with Joe Duffy.

Facebook said it had provided a direct contact name and number for her to speak to in an effort to bring the harassment to an end.

Wexford People

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