Woman says she experienced Baby Reindeer-style stalking for 13 years

Lindsey Goldrick Dean says she experienced Baby Reindeer-style stalking for 13 years. (SWNS)
Lindsey Goldrick Dean says she experienced Baby Reindeer-style stalking for 13 years. (SWNS)

In the smash-hit series Baby Reindeer, which dropped on Netflix last month, viewers were instantly captivated by comedian Richard Gadd’s real-life tale of being harassed and stalked – and now one woman says she experienced this same kind of stalking for over a decade.

In the show, Gadd’s character Donny meets his stalker, ‘Martha’, while working at a pub. Yet, for Lindsey Goldrick Dean, 54, she met her stalker on a dating website.

"I thought it was brilliant the way [Gadd] did it," Goldrick Dean says. "He showed everything that we go through, the paranoia, the obsession, the vulnerability. His portrayal was incredible.

"I could definitely relate to the emotional toll of the harassment he receives from someone he met in what was an accidental or innocent way and it quickly escalates, which is what happened for me. I related to the searing anxiety and the nightmares, you become hypervigilant and paranoid. I was in fight or flight mode 24/7."

Goldrick Dean’s 13-year ordeal began in 2004 when she met a man on a dating website. After going on four dates with him, she told him she wasn’t interested in seeing him anymore, which is when he began stalking and harassing her.

The mum-of-one subsequently had a box of ashes delivered to her, 15 'malicious' websites written about her, Twitter accounts impersonating her, had her emails hacked, received 'incessant' phone calls, along with visits to her house.

Richard Gadd brought his real-life stalking experience to screen in Netflix's Baby Reindeer. (Getty Images)
Richard Gadd brought his real-life stalking experience to screen in Netflix's Baby Reindeer. (Getty Images)

"It was a very scary time," she says. "Every knock on the door, every phone call, I thought it was him all the time. So, I didn’t sleep much in those years. Lots of scary things happened. I’d go to the car and the door would be open and there was a song playing that we had talked about.

"He wrote 15 malicious websites about me, impersonated me on twitter, hacked into my email, called me incessantly, sent me boxes of ashes, visited the house. It was a nightmare. He let me know that he was always watching."

Goldrick Dean says some of the websites her stalker made were 'really scary', as he was inviting other stalkers to join him. "I felt very isolated and very frightened. He completely hijacked my life and my sense of security."

In Baby Reindeer, Donny is originally dismissed by the police – something Goldrick Dean says she related to.

"They didn't ever take me seriously, always asking what they should do about it. The stalking and harassment continued when I married and had a baby. I continually asked for help," she adds.

"They closed my case when there were still 10 websites on the internet, he was still impersonating me, I had just complained that there was glass smashed downstairs, and I had just seen his fingers come through the letterbox. Everybody kept turning me away really, they couldn’t help."

Watch: Piers Morgan slams Netflix and Richard Gadd over Baby Reindeer

Goldrick Dean eventually found a lawyer and took her case to the High Court – and says that if she hadn't taken action, she believes the stalking and harassment would still be ongoing.

After being taken to court, her stalker agreed to pay undisclosed damages and her legal costs following the landmark case at High Court in 2018. However, Goldrick Dean had hoped for criminal charges.

"I was glad about the outcome. I had to make him accountable publicly, and to set a precedent in law, to help others," she adds. "But really, I feel he should have been tried in a criminal court and sent to prison for what he did. I don’t feel reassured by it at all, but I have got to get on with my life."

Approximately one in five women in the UK, and one in 12 men will experience a form of stalking in their lifetime.

Stalking was deemed to be a criminal offence in England and Wales in 2012.

Call 999 if you are being stalked and believe you are in immediate danger. Otherwise, call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 for advice.