Film-maker jailed for stalking fellow student in Manchester
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Riagain Grainger (25/05/1999) of Rosnareen Road, Trillick, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland has today (Wednesday 2 February) been jailed for two-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to stalking involving fear of violence, serious alarm and distress.
Grainger admitted the offences carried out in 2019 at Manchester Crown Court (Crown Square) in August 2021 and is also subject to an indefinite stalking prevention order.
Grainger had previously been friends with the 21-year-old woman while studying together at university, but when the friendship deteriorated, he began to send a barrage threatening messages from several anonymous accounts.
The messages continued for three months from September 2019, and included threats to harm and kill, as well as pictures of the victim's home address. Grainger was also seen near to the victim's address on multiple occasions.
Grainger, who has been working as film-maker, was arrested on the 24 October 2019, and following searches of Grainger's phone, images of the victim and her home address were found, and he was subsequently charged.
Detective Constable Thomas Small, of Longsight CID, said: “Stalking can have a devastating effect on a victim and their loved ones, and I hope this sentencing shows that we take any reports of stalking and harassment seriously, and is committed to bringing anyone found responsible to justice.
“Everyone has the right to live their life without fear and harassment, and Grainger made that impossible for this young woman.
“I would urge any victims of stalking or harassment to please take that brave step and report it to us. In an emergency call 999, in a non-emergency or to report an incident that has already happened, contact us via LiveChat on our website www.gmp.police.uk, or ring 101. National agencies such as Suzy Lamplugh and Paladin can also provide you with advice and support."
GMP officers are trained to investigate reports of stalking, and work together with partner agencies to provide the best support to victims.
There's a dedicated Victim Services Team available through www.gmvictims.org.uk or you can call 0161 200 1950. Anyone who has been a victim of crime is able to access this service regardless of whether you have reported it to police.
VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT
"I’ve tried for a long time to put into words exactly how I have felt since all of this has happened to me. I didn’t realise how long it would take me to accept that I am never going to recover from any of it. As much as I’ve tried, no matter how hard I try, everything I do links back to something relating to this case.
"It has been just over two years now since I received the first threatening message from one of Grainger’s many fake accounts. At first, I ignored them, hoping it was just some sort of spam account. But they kept coming, one by one, multiple in an hour, all from different accounts, for the next three months. It got so regular, that every time I would block an account, within five minutes, there would be a new one. I would wake up and have several different accounts messaging me, all with multiple messages. I could barely have a chance to breathe before there would be another.
"Every time I would hear a phone ring, I would start crying, or shaking, at the fear that it might be for me. It didn’t matter if it was in real life or if it was on a TV show or a film – whenever I heard a phone ring, I would have a panic attack. Even if it was just a vibration. But it wasn’t just the fear of getting a message that was the issue, it was the fear of what those messages said.
"Those messages, each one of them tore a different piece of my confidence away. They made me feel the ugliest I have ever felt. It didn’t matter how small the comment was, it made me feel smaller and smaller every single day, until I felt so small that I didn’t even want to leave my bedroom.
"I couldn’t do anything. Everything I did he was watching, and he was following. I would have multiple panic attacks everywhere I went. Anytime I saw anyone who looked remotely similar I would cry uncontrollably thinking it was him.
"I never felt safe. I still don’t feel safe. I still jump every time my phone rings. I still feel sick every time I get a message from an unknown account. I still have a panic attack every time I see someone who looks like him. I still can’t even step foot on a bus, thinking he might be there watching me
"I have constant nightmares about him – about him attacking me, hurting me. They started a couple of weeks after the messages started and they haven’t stopped. Even now, every single night I am woken up by him. Every single night he is torturing me again."