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Classmate who ‘stalked’ victims’ commissioner faces new trial

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former school classmate of London’s Victims’ Commissioner is facing trial over claims he repeatedly broke a life-time restraining order which is designed to keep him out of her life.

Elliot Fogel, 47, was banned from having any contact with Claire Waxman under a wide-ranging order handed down at Harrow crown court in 2006.

But he is now accused of breaking the order three times, and also allegedly flouting a criminal behaviour order by possessing two mobile phones.

According to the charges, Fogel is said to have sent a letter complaining about Ms Waxman to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s office in February this year. He appointed Ms Waxman as the capital’s first Victims’ Commissioner in 2017, with a brief to work with victims of crime and lobby for criminal justice reforms.

Claire Waxman, London’s Victims’ Commissioner

/ Ben Lister

Fogel is also accused of downloading news articles from The Sun and Mail websites which featured Ms Waxman, and it is said he was “in possession of various polygraph reports which had, as part of their content, references to Claire Waxman”.

Fogel appeared at Harrow crown court on March 24, when a trial date was set for August 17. He has not yet entered pleas to the charges, and has been remanded in custody until the next hearing in May. Fogel, a former freelance producer for Sky Sports and Capital Radio, was a classmate of Ms Waxman in their final year at secondary school in 1991. Before being appointed the Victims’ Commissioner, she was a prominent anti-stalking campaigner and was awarded an OBE in January.

Ms Waxman has been vocal about the impact criminal justice backlogs and delays are having on rape and sexual offences complainants.

News of Fogel’s case comes just before National Stalking Awareness Week. Suky Bhaker, chief executive of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, said they had seen an increase in stalking allegations during the pandemic. “Victims felt they were like sitting ducks, they couldn’t vary their routines and perpetrators knew where they were”, she said.

The trust is campaigning for increased vigilance by police officers of stalking behaviour, in a bid to cut off fixations when they are in the early stages.

“Individual behaviours, such as following, watching, loitering, sending an email or a letter, or turning up at a workplace — in isolation they all seem quite unremarkable,” she said. “But collectively, putting the pattern together, it gives us an understanding of the risk and motivation of behaviour that we are really dealing with. When that pattern is not understood, you are not picking up that this is a stalking case. Then you are not getting the right charges or prosecutions.”

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