A couple of days ago I sat through a BBC reporter's interview with a woman by the name of Claire Waxman. It was as compelling as it was horrendous and excruciating.
Claire was the victim of an obsessive `stalker` for nine years. As a former police instructor I predict that the BBC News 24 channel interview will become an integral part of the public protection training regime for many years to come.
As I listened to her story, told with great calmness and clarity, something terribly sad occurred to me. I actually believe that she would probably have faired better at the hands of the State had she suffered a sudden and temporary loss of self control and ran him over in her car and killed him, as almost happened during one of her countless stalking encounters. Certainly, the law has several legal precedents and statutory defences to such things when committed in extremis, under duress, diminished responsibility or even, streching it somewhat, under automatism. Either way, that result would have arguably put her life back to normal far quicker than the status quo. But then again, why should she have to be pushed to that limit?
Set aside 30 minutes.
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