A GB Information presenter says she has been left with a sore throat after being stalked by a former airline star who appeared on her present as a visitor.
Ellie Costello was left fearing for her security and struggling “panic assaults” after Leo Jones wooed her with creepy messages.
The 29-year-old bravely revealed his ordeal after Jones, who shot to fame on ITV actuality present Airline earlier than reinventing himself as a ‘journey professional’, was handed a five-year restraining order at the moment.
The 41-year-old was additionally given a suspended jail sentence at St Albans Magistrates’ Courtroom for her year-long marketing campaign which left her in “fixed stress” and having “sleepless nights”.
GB Information presenter Ellie Costello on set. Miss Costello says she suffered a 12 months of hell after being stalked by a former visitor on her present
Leo Jones exterior St Albans Magistrates’ Courtroom. The 42-year-old has been given a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting Miss Costello
It comes as campaigners launched a “tremendous grievance” about police forces within the UK allegedly failing to guard girls from stalkers, that means police watchdogs should now take into account whether or not to launch a nationwide inquiry.
The Suzy Lamplugh Belief, which was arrange after the disappearance and homicide of the London property agent in 1986, says victims are being put in danger due to “systemic” failures.
Miss Costello informed the Day by day Mail she had by no means met the father-of-two within the flesh — after interviewing him over Zoom — earlier than he began displaying up on her units.
On one event, he got here into her studio at 5:00 a.m. however she was not at work that day.
“I cried within the witness room earlier than I got here to courtroom at the moment, it took every little thing in my physique to do it however I needed the courtroom to listen to me personally in my very own phrases what this has executed to me,” she stated.
Jones, a self-proclaimed ‘journey professional’ appeared on GB Information the place he was interviewed by Miss Costello (pictured)
Jones rose to fame in Airline, which ran for eight years till 2006 and adopted the lives of EasyJet staff by the highs and lows of airport dramas, turning them into minor stars.
He later offered himself as a “journey professional”, analyzing the trade throughout Covid-19 journey restrictions and was first interviewed by Miss Costello on GB Information in August 2021.
After the printed, the pair exchanged messages and thanked one another however nothing additional.
He was interviewed by Miss Costello once more in October of that 12 months, after which he prompt they current a journey present collectively earlier than later telling her: “I like seeing you within the morning X”
When she did not reply, he adopted up with “you’re taking my breath away” after which, over the subsequent three days, “You inspire me past phrases”, “I like seeing you” and “You might be my sunshine I like you”.
When Jones then requested: ‘How lengthy do I’ve to attend to see you, it is driving me loopy’, Miss Costello lastly replied, telling him: ‘Please cease sending me messages it is past inappropriate.’
However the courtroom heard the messages had been solely stopped for 3 months earlier than Jones, utilizing a separate Instagram account, stated: “I do know I am not imagined to message you however thanks for every little thing you do for the journey trade”, adopted by “Nobody will ever come close to you’.
Miss Costello then blocked all his social media accounts from contacting hers.
In June this 12 months, Jones turned up on the GB Information studios in Paddington and requested if she was accessible earlier than later sending flowers with a message: “One thing to say good morning from Leo X.”
Miss Costello says she obtained creepy messages from Jones, which continued even after she informed him to cease
Jones began sending creepy messages after being interviewed by Miss Costello on GB Information (pictured)
Miss Costello additionally obtained an e-mail from Mr Jones by way of her web site which learn: “Ellie I do not wish to be like a stalker I’ve emotions for you, you’ve been instrumental in my journey”.
On the day of the Queen’s funeral, as she broadcast from crowds on the Lengthy Stroll in Windsor, the reporter noticed Jones “together with his arms in his pockets, laughing and strolling in the direction of her”.
Determined, she referred to as the police however could not get her phrases out, solely “stalker” as a panic assault began. By the point the police calmed her down, he had disappeared.
Miss Costello bravely addressed St Albans Magistrates’ Courtroom behind a curtain yesterday and described the harrowing influence Jones has had on her life and work, together with being given a bodyguard.
Describing the incident on the day of the Queen’s funeral, Miss Costello stated: ‘I’ve been shaken within the aftermath of Leo Jones getting so near me.
‘I had a panic assault, I could not breathe or communicate, once I realized he had gotten so near me I used to be actually scared. He will need to have adopted me after seeing my broadcast that morning.
“It is made me nervous about getting out of vehicles and going locations on my own. In my job it is unimaginable to not say the place I’m, I’ve a safety officer to make me really feel secure at work.
Jones, pictured right here on GB Information, was given a 26-week jail sentence, suspended for 2 years, and a five-year restraining order at St Albans Magistrates’ Courtroom at the moment
Leo Jones rose to fame after showing within the ITV actuality present Airline, which adopted the employees of easyJet
“The top of safety has taught me methods to assist maintain me secure, to put on much less vibrant colours, to tie my hair up, the right way to place myself in relation to a highway, to face outwards to see threats coming. I’ve needed to change how I behave at work and in on a regular basis life.
‘I would not want this on anybody. I simply wish to really feel secure and safe at work.
“The final 16 months have been anxious, fixed stress and fixed pressure on my life.
“The considered seeing his face makes me cry. I am annoyed with myself for letting it go on for thus lengthy.’
She later informed the Mail: “Some males take a look at feminine reporters and assume they know you. He clearly felt by me that he knew me very nicely and that we had been in a relationship.
“I understood that he was very delusional though now we have by no means met in particular person, he acted as if we had been in a relationship.
Jones pleaded responsible to inflicting the presenter severe alarm, misery and psychological anguish and obtained a 26-week jail sentence, suspended for 2 years, and a five-year restraining order.
He’s now a carer for his aged father, the courtroom heard.
Miss Costello added: “All I needed out of this was a restraining order as a result of then I can really feel secure. So the truth that I’ve had one for 5 years is implausible.
The conclusion of Miss Costello’s case comes as figures revealed that within the 12 months ending March 2022, solely 5 per cent of stalking experiences ended up being prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The Telegraph experiences that 30,000 circumstances had been dropped as a consequence of “difficulties of proof” regardless of victims supporting prosecution.
This has prompted the Suzy Lamplugh Belief to launch a “supercomplaint” in opposition to UK police, which it says are “failing to establish out-of-date habits at an early stage, contributing to it being wronged by the CPS”.
The charity is certainly one of solely round a dozen charities able to launch this particular kind of motion, that means police watchdogs should take into account whether or not to launch a nationwide investigation.
It added that “it’s clear that the police are failing to know and implement” stalking laws introduced into pressure a decade in the past, which “in the end leaves many victims unprotected”.
Suky Bhaker (pictured), chief government of the Suzy Lamplugh Belief, stated she hoped the “tremendous grievance” issued by the charity would “enhance the police response to stalking throughout the nation”
Suky Bhaker, CEO of the Suzy Lamplugh Belief, stated: “We help 1000’s of victims yearly in our Nationwide Stalking Service and a major variety of them inform us they’re let down by the police and the courts at each stage of their journey to justice.
Failure to establish and examine stalking as early as potential results in an elevated threat of bodily and psychological hurt to the sufferer.
“We hope the end result of this super-complaint will lead to strong suggestions to enhance the police response to stalking throughout the nation that’s so desperately wanted.”
Claire Waxman, Victims Commissioner for London, stated: “Too many victims of stalking are being let down by the police and wider justice system – with stalking habits being ignored or minimised, and breaches of restraining orders not being taken critically sufficient.
“I totally help the Nationwide Stalking Consortium’s tremendous grievance, which highlights various failings in the best way stalking circumstances are handled, placing victims susceptible to additional hurt and inflicting pointless misery.
“While I hoped the revised stalking laws would result in higher safety and justice for victims, ten years on the cost remains to be unacceptably low.
“It’s clear that the justice system remains to be struggling to establish and deal with stalking in a strong approach, leaving too many victims struggling and in danger.
“Change is nicely on the best way to stalking victims should be protected”
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