NEWS presenter Ellie Costello has instructed of the terrifying second she realized her stalker was simply 10ft away on the Queen’s funeral.
The GB Information journalist, 29, had been bombarded with creepy messages and stalked by airline star Leo Jones for greater than a 12 months earlier than he appeared the place she introduced dwell.
Ellie had solely ever interviewed Jones through Zoom when he began telling her he “beloved her” and that she was his “sunshine”, earlier than sending her flowers and exhibiting up unannounced at her work.
The ultimate straw, which prompted the girl to report Jones’ conduct to the police, was when she locked eyes with him whereas amongst a whole bunch of hundreds of others at Her Majesty’s funeral.
The person’s “ominous smile” despatched the 29-year-old right into a panic assault as she ran to a police officer, however all she might say was “stalker”.
Ellie has now opened up about her 16 months of hell after Jones was given a five-year restraining order and suspended jail sentence this week.
Talking on GB Information Breakfast right now, Ellie revealed what unfolded on September 19 at Windsor Citadel.
She mentioned: “And as you do on this job, the primary query is all the time ‘Ellie, the place are you this morning?’ And I mentioned the place I used to be.
“And it later turned out that he should have adopted me from the place I so publicly reported.”
Ellie continued: “I went right down to the Lengthy Stroll in Windsor – 250,000 folks have been there by the best way, 1 / 4 of one million folks.
“And I seemed up and there he was, like not even 10 ft from my face, and he had his palms in his pockets — he’d clearly been there for some time — he had his palms in his pockets and was gazing me and simply smiling with probably the most sinister smiling.
“It was like he loved seeing me so uncomfortable. I used to be alone.
“I walked away from my cameraman and it was my fault. And I simply had a panic assault.”
She mentioned that because it was the Queen’s funeral there have been police all over the place, and she or he ran to the closest officer.
Ellie continued: “I might nonetheless see the place he was.
“I could not get my phrases out. I simply had a panic assault.”
Jones took off, however was later arrested and spent an evening in a cell.
The 42-year-old first made a reputation for himself on the ITV actuality present Airline, a present which ran from 1998 to 2006 and adopted the lives of EasyJet employees at airports.
He reinvented himself as a journey skilled and began speaking concerning the trade throughout Covid restrictions – that is how he met Ellie.
She interviewed him over Zoom as soon as final August after which two months later.
After the second interview, Jones advised that the pair current a journey present collectively, the message: “I like to see you within the morning X.”
Over the subsequent three days he mentioned “you’re taking my breath away”, “you encourage me past phrases”, “I really like seeing you” and “you might be my sunshine I really like you”.
He then despatched a message asking, “How lengthy do I’ve to attend to see you, it is driving me loopy.”
That is when Ellie lastly responded, saying, “Please cease messaging me it is past inappropriate.”
However the messages solely stayed for 3 months – Jones then created a separate Instagram account.
He texts Ellie saying “I do know I should not be texting you however thanks for all you do for the journey trade” and “nobody will ever come near you.”
“FROM LEO X”
Ellie then blocked all her social media accounts.
However, Jones did not cease there, in June this 12 months he turned up on the GB Information studio and requested for Ellie, earlier than sending flowers with a word that learn: “One thing to say good morning from Leo X.”
He additionally emailed the 29-year-old through her web site saying: “Ellie I do not need to be like a stalker I’ve emotions for you you’ve gotten been instrumental in my journey.”
Then, only a month later, was the Queen’s funeral.
Jones’ year-long marketing campaign left Ellie so fearful for her security that she suffered from sleepless nights, fixed stress and panic assaults.
She additionally obtained a bodyguard, who taught her methods to shield herself.
At Jones’ listening to on Thursday, Ellie learn her sufferer affect assertion at St Albans Magistrates’ Courtroom behind a curtain.
Talking this morning, she mentioned: “I believe I really feel it was one thing he would have wished, to see me or be close to me, or one thing like that.
“So I did not need him to have it however I wished him to listen to what had finished to me.”
Are you being stalked?
IF you’re a sufferer of stalking, inform a pal, safe your social media, contact the police and name the Nationwide Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.
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