Entertainment & Arts

Noisettes' Shingai Shoniwa: Stalker terrorised my life

Shingai Shoniwa Image copyright Talkback Thames
Image caption Shoniwa described stalking as "personal terrorism"

Noisettes singer Shingai Shoniwa has spoken for the first time of her ordeal at the hands of a stalker, saying it was like "murder in slow motion".

The musician's ex-partner Pardeep Sall bombarded her with phone calls and texts, and even entered her flat, after refusing to accept their break up.

Stalking is a "personal terrorism" that left her fearing for her safety and forced her parents to move house, she told the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

Sall was convicted of stalking in May.

He was also found guilty of harassment and given a 12-week suspended prison sentence and an indefinite restraining order. He denies the offences, and is appealing the conviction.

Shoniwa, whose band had a hit with Don't Upset the Rhythm (Go Baby Go) in 2009, made the decision to speak publicly to highlight a call by MPs and campaigners for the maximum stalking prison sentences to be doubled from five to 10 years.

'Psychological game'

Her own experience of stalking, which began last year, was a "terrorising campaign" that was like being "killed from the inside out slowly", she said.

"It's literally like murder in slow motion. It's a sinister kind of personal terrorism that should not be tolerated," she said.

"It's nothing that I would wish upon anybody.

"The perpetrator involved in my case used to brag about having ruined other people's lives before, and that's when I saw warning signs.

"He would go around bragging that he was above the law and it was really exciting to damage people and try to play this psychological game that doesn't just affect them, but extends to their families and dozens of people around them."

The "ricochet effect" of the harassment left her constantly worried about the safety of her friends and family, Shoniwa said.

The judge who sentenced Shoniwa's stalker said he had been "in the grips of a very powerful obsession", according to reports.

Help and advice

You should contact the police if you're being stalked - you have a right to feel safe in your home and workplace. Call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger, otherwise contact your local police.

Shoniwa, who was helped with her case by the charity Paladin, is backing the call for stalking offence sentences to be increased, and is also campaigning for a register of convicted stalkers, similar to the sex offenders register.

Conservative MP Alex Chalk, who is leading a group of MPs lobbying Parliament for increased sentences, said stalking could be "the gateway to serious violence", but was treated as a minor offence.

"If you compare it with other offences, for example burglary, another violating offence, has a maximum sentence of 14 years," he said.

"And yet five years for stalking, it just doesn't bear any comparison.

"The fact is the law still treats it as a minor offence. The judge has got to have powers to protect the victim, and they just don't have them at the moment."

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