Stalking victim Alison Hewitt calls for law change
- 15 February 2012
- From the section Sussex
A woman from Sussex who was stalked by her former fiance has called for harassment laws to be updated.
Former city worker Al Amin Dhalla, 42, of no fixed address, has been convicted of stalking 35-year-old Alison Hewitt, a trainee doctor from Brighton.
"Stalking destroys lives and we need to take it seriously," Ms Hewitt said.
"I ask for those currently involved in debating stalking and harassment laws [to] look at this case.
"It is yet another example of how important it is that harassment laws are updated."
She urged anyone who was being harassed or stalked to contact police.
Dhalla was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court of stalking Ms Hewitt and her mother after his one-year relationship with Ms Hewitt ended.
He was convicted of nine charges including harassment, arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered, attempted arson, theft and trying to pervert the course of justice.
Ms Hewitt's mother Pamela said Dhalla's stalking had "been like a horror movie".
"The depth of the deception was very, very difficult to come to terms with," she said.
"I've gone through a whole range of emotions from absolute total fear that something had happened to one of my children, to thinking thank goodness they're OK, to a lot of fear and huge relief as well.
"It has pulled us (the family) closer together. We have to hang on to some positives and that is a positive."
Ms Hewitt thanked the police for keeping her and her family alive and said: "My message is to anyone out there who is being harassed or stalked.
"You cannot control this situation yourself, you need professional help. You must talk to the police in order to begin to get your life back and it takes time."