Stalker Al Amin Dhalla guilty of loaded crossbow charge

A former City worker convicted of stalking his former fiancee has been found guilty of possessing a loaded crossbow near her workplace.

Al Amin Dhalla, 42, described as a "narcissistic psychopath", was found guilty of nine charges including arson and harassment at Lewes Crown Court.

The court heard he stalked Alison Hewitt, 35, of Brighton, and her family after she ended their relationship.

The crossbow was found in his car at Hayward's Heath Hospital, West Sussex.

Dhalla, who is Canadian, is due to be sentenced on 16 April.

Following the verdict Dr Hewitt said: "I feel very relieved that it is all over now. I'm looking forward to getting back to my normal life.

"I feel very emotional at all that's happened and all I can say is a big thank you to all who have supported me through this process."

At one point her mother Pamela and her stepfather David Gray were airlifted by Devon and Cornwall Police from Lundy Island, near Devon, because officers feared Dhalla was going to attack them.

He also bought a 1.77 air pistol and two mini-crossbows, all with ammunition, and a van specially adapted to include a cage in the rear, which police described as a vehicle that could be used to kidnap someone.

Mr Gray said: "Our daughter has endured considerable harassment and our primary consideration has always been for our daughter's safety. The family is hugely relieved that it is all over."

Image caption Dhalla posed as a nurse to find out information about his former fiancee's working pattern

Dhalla also posed as a nurse to collect information about Dr Hewitt's working pattern at her hospital.

The trial was told he moved into the home of Dr Hewitt months after meeting her through an online dating agency.

However, her family voiced concern over his "unseemly haste" to marry her and relations soured.

The couple split after a year and Dhalla went on to set fire to her family's home near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, while her mother and stepfather were on holiday.

Pamela Hewitt described Dhalla as a "narcissistic psychopath" during the trial.

The court was also told he falsely claimed that he was 35, an orphan and had lived in Britain for several years.

Image caption Alison Hewitt said she was very relieved that it was all over

Following the trial it was revealed that he had a conviction for assaulting his uncle with a weapon in Canada.

Det Ch Insp Rebecca Mears, from Thames Valley Police, said he was "an exceptionally dangerous man".

She added: "Our fear was that his intent was to kidnap and possibly murder Alison, and possibly her parents as well."

On Tuesday Dhalla was convicted of arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered, attempted arson, damaging property and two counts of theft.

He was found not guilty of two more serious charges of putting a person in fear of violence through harassment but convicted of two alternative charges of harassment of Dr Hewitt and her mother.

On Wednesday he was also found guilty of possessing an offensive weapon and perverting the course of justice but cleared of one count of theft.

Judge Charles Kemp requested psychiatric and probation service reports before sentencing.

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