A woman was being stalked.
For three and a half years, Ruth Jeffery lived in fear. Someone, somehow, knew every detail of her intimate life. He knew her schedule, and even had access to her e-mail accounts.
Once, he posted “intimate” pictures of her on an adult website, prompting a stranger to show up, announced, at her home.
Ruth was at her wits’ end, and counted heavily on the support of her boyfriend, who she’d been dating for more than three years; a man she’d known for more than a decade.
In fact, her boyfriend, Shane Webber, was the one person she could lean on during the ordeal. “We did everything together. I would tell him everything”. She believed he was telling her everything in return.
When her stalker created an online profile that was similar to her own, and started reaching out to her friends, pretending to be her, she got scared. This person simply knew too much about her. Was it a friend? A classmate from school?
Who could do such a thing?
Ruth stopped eating, fell into a deep depression, and was filled with fear and paranoia. She began taking anti-depressants. At one point, her studies were impacted, she was so drastically affected, she had to retake her final exams.
She was suicidal, and told those closest to her, she wanted to die.
“I don’t want to be alive anymore”
Finally, in desperation, Ruth turned to police. By this time, her harasser had pretended to be various classmates of hers, and had even hacked into her computer, sending intimate photos of her to all of her contacts from her own e-mail address. Ms. Jeffery found herself bombarded with sexually explicit photos and videos.
The desperation, depression and fear continued to spiral, Ruth was terrified, humiliated and ashamed.
Police diligently tracked the stalker, meticulously documenting incident after incident of harassment.
At one point, authorities thought they were closing in on their perp. They arrested and interrogated a close friend of Ruth’s boyfriend. Police, briefly, believed they’d found their stalker.
They were wrong.
Undeterred, police refused to give up.
Finally, they got their break, and after nearly four years of constant harassment, arrested Ruth’s long-time boyfriend, Shane Webber.
Webber is charged with causing Harassment, Alarm or Distress.
He had been harassing, stalking and intimidating his own girlfriend for the entire time they had been dating.
He has pled guilty.
Upon hearing the news, Ruth issued a statement proclaiming, “I want him to be put in prison because he has wrecked the past three-and-a-half years of my life… I’ve known him for 10 years, so in a way it feels like the past 10 years have been wasted.”
Webber is due to be sentenced on October 6, 2011.