'What needs to change?': LBC's Shelagh Fogarty opens up about stalking ordeal in new podcast

4 July 2022, 09:47 | Updated: 4 July 2022, 09:55

LBC's Shelagh Fogarty opens up about stalking ordeal in new podcast
LBC's Shelagh Fogarty opens up about stalking ordeal in new podcast. Picture: LBC

By Megan Hinton

Today LBC's Shelagh Fogarty launches her brand new podcast The Followers, where she reveals the full account of being a victim of stalking and asks what it will take to stop this growing crime?

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According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), reports of stalking and harassment shot up by over 31% as the UK's coronavirus lockdown eased.

In the UK, stalking is defined as "two or more incidents (causing distress, fear or alarm) of receiving obscene or threatening unwanted letters, emails, text messages or phone calls, having had obscene or threatening information about them placed on the internet, waiting or loitering around home or workplace, or following or watching".

Listen to all five episodes exclusively on Global Player. - https://l-bc.co/31MZ107

Official statistics revealed the police recorded 215,173 domestic abuse-related stalking and harassment offences in England and Wales in the year ending March 2021, accounting for a quarter of all domestic abuse-related crimes.

But in Wales, only five stalking protection orders were issued last year despite more than 7,000 reported offences.

In Shelagh's new podcast she will explore what needs to change for women to feel comfortable in public, by speaking to psychologists, solicitors, police officers and other victims.

LBC's daytime presenter will recount her experience of noticing the same face appearing in crowds, on the tube, outside her work.

The podcast will take listeners through her journey, starting with dismissal, fear and feeling powerless as Shelagh was forced to live a limited life.

"For me I couldn’t even believe anyone could choose to start stalking me and of course I’d never considered how perilous this would later become," Shelagh told listeners.

Beginning to divulge her story, she later adds: "The stalking began for me in 2016, as far as I know… I’d been working at the LBC’s studios in London for about a year and a half when I first noticed something strange.

"Before this day I’d never thought about how my routine, my location... They are such common knowledge that it would be easy to track my location if anyone cared to."

In a wider conversation, 'The Followers' will look at societal views, misogyny and popular media tropes that may be enabling stalkers to commit crimes without intervention.

Read more: 'They let her down': Woman 'killed by stalker' was failed by police, family say

The podcast comes as a number of high profile stalking cases hit UK headlines including Harry Styles' stalker who recently admitted breaching a restraining order after entering the former One Direction star's house.

Pablo-Diana Orero Tarazaga, 29, was barred from going within 250m of the Watermelon Sugar singer, 28, after being found guilty of stalking in 2019.

Brit Award winner Styles, who recently released number one album Harry's House, was at his north London property when the Spanish national allegedly forced entry on February 16.

Orero Tarazaga, who identifies as bigender, is said to have pushed a woman, who was working at the address, into a wall, before damaging a plant pot during a scuffle with a security guard.

If you think you or someone you know is being stalked, please call the police or the National stalking helpline on 0808 802 0300

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