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How do I stop a persistent suitor

(34 Posts)
Grannylu Fri 14-Oct-16 09:48:16

There is a dreadful, irritating little man whom I've known for the past 20 years. He tried asking me out 20 years ago, but I told him I was married, which stopped him. Two years ago, my beloved husband died. Now, this awful, annoying little man has started writing me letters asking to be 'friends'. I wrote back saying quite bluntly that I was not interested, and please would he leave me alone. Another long letter has just arrived. I've sent it back to him with a sticker attached saying 'please leave me alone' (double underlined). I have a horrible feeling that this is not the end of the story - he is horribly persistent.

Do you think this amounts to stalking? Would the police get involved if this man does not leave me in peace? How else can I get rid of him if he ignores my absolutely clear rejection of his advances? I'm 74, for goodness' sake, and it's beyond maddening to have to deal with this nonsense. Your advice would be so welcome!

whitewave Fri 14-Oct-16 09:52:27

It could be. I am not sure about these sort of cases. But local gossip has it that a retired policeman, has had a restraining order out on him as he was "stalking" a local lady. Not sure how bad it got though.
Would citizens advice be any good?

tanith Fri 14-Oct-16 09:53:36

Do you have a solicitor who could write him a stern letter threatening police involvement or just ask at a police station for advice.

vampirequeen Fri 14-Oct-16 09:58:02

You've told him clearly and bluntly that you're not interested. He's not taking no for an answer. If he contacts you again, send him a letter by recorded delivery telling him in no uncertain terms that you are not interested, you do not want him to contact you again and if he does you will contact the police. Recorded delivery means he cannot deny receiving this letter. If he contacts you again he is stalking you. Contact the police and let them visit him to warn him off.

Keep a record of every contact.

annodomini Fri 14-Oct-16 10:45:16

You need to keep a copy of any letter you send him, and log all his annoying approaches. If you need to notify the police, you will have evidence to show them. There is a fine line between pest and stalker and I'm not sure when one escalates into the other. Good luck in getting rid of him.

merlotgran Fri 14-Oct-16 11:00:18

Yes to notifying the police and logging his approaches as anno says. A friend of mine had this problem a few years ago after her husband died. She met a man through mutual friends, went out for meals with him a few times but then told him she didn't want to take the relationship any further.

Before long, he was seriously stalking her. She eventually had to get a restraining order which worked for a while but when she met someone she really did want to stay with it all started again.

Don't leave it too late before taking action.

DaphneBroon Fri 14-Oct-16 11:09:54

Yes this does amount to stalking and he needs to realise that he risks prosecution.
Record everything, keep copies and see a solicitor - or even go straight to the police.
He may be a harmless old duffer, but his behaviour is verging on harassment . There is a fine line between what is acceptable and not, he seems to have crossed it.

sunseeker Fri 14-Oct-16 11:20:54

Do you have a male relative who could have a word with him and reiterate that you are not interested. It's unfortunate that some men of our generation consider a woman alone as weak and vulnerable and will only back off if he knows there is a man in the background. As others have said keep a record of any contact between you and copies of your letters telling him you are not interested.

Luckygirl Fri 14-Oct-16 11:35:40

Advice above all good - sorry you have all this hassle. Suggestion to use a male relative or friend to go round is a very good one. Good luck.

Eloethan Fri 14-Oct-16 13:11:55

If he continues to send letters or approach you when you have made it quite clear that you want him to stop, I think this probably constitutes stalking. I don't know the length of time that has to pass before you can take action but, as someone else said, perhaps Citizens Advice could help. As someone suggested, it might be worth the money to get a solicitor to send him an official letter so as to nip this behaviour in the bud. In any event, as others have said, you should keep a record of any approaches he makes and from now on retain the letters if he sends any more.

Luckylegs9 Fri 14-Oct-16 16:56:01

If he doesn't leave you alone I think the threat of reporting him for stalking might curtail his enthusiasm.

phoenix Fri 14-Oct-16 17:32:18

Is it just letters? If so, just write (as others have said) and send by recorded delivery, threatening to inform the police.

To be honest, I don't feel it's best use of police resources if it is just letters, but the threat of action may be enough.

FarNorth Fri 14-Oct-16 21:24:48

It is good use of police resources to take preventative action, to stop possible escalation of the man's behaviour.

a1icia Sat 15-Oct-16 09:19:13

As above, record everything - days, times, letters from and to, and keep copies. Only threaten what you will carry out, so be certain you will go to the police if you warn him you will. Otherwise tell them now. Get friends/neighbours/relatives on speed dial in case he shows up, and a chain on your doors. Awareness is your best friend. Put neighbours in the picture, and the keepers/regulars in local places you visit. Record everything. Precautions are not paranoia.

Chris1603 Sat 15-Oct-16 09:34:53

Please phone the police and ask for advice. They will be pleased to help you. That is what they are there for and you (along with the rest of us) have paid plenty tax for the privilege. Don't think twice about it. It must be making you feel unsafe and miserable.

I suggest you do not answer any letters or have any contact with him at all.

If you don't want to call the police yourself maybe a friend or relative could do it for you?

Please don't deal with this alone out of any sense of pride and independence, we all need a little help sometimes,

All the best and if you could post how you get on that would be wonderful and would help those in a similar situation,

foxie Sat 15-Oct-16 09:44:52

Do you think this amounts to stalking? Yes I do and you tell him in no uncertain terms that if he persists the police will be involved. Better still if you have male friends maybe they can 'persuade' this gentleman to desist his unwanted attention. You could also try another tactic. Mark any mail that you recognise from him as 'not known at this address' and put it back in the mail. What you shouldn't do is respond to any of his letters but keep them as evidence if the time comes when you seek legal advice.

meandashy Sat 15-Oct-16 09:45:09

I would call 101 in your situation. They take harassment very seriously, especially a single lady. It's unwanted attention you did not ask for and if telling him several times hasn't worked you need help imo . Good luck getting him sorted!

Neversaydie Sat 15-Oct-16 10:58:44

My daughter had (what hopefully was )a one off situation with a neighbour and was talking to a policeman at a Mental Health conference (part of her job)who said if it happened again to contact the neighbourhood police team .This was in -person harassment (tapping her window wanting to be her 'friend') but he said they would take it seriously .

Grannylu Sat 15-Oct-16 12:44:26

Thank you all so much for your excellent and helpful advice. I feel a lot better now, realising that if the pest continues to pester me I don't have to cope with this on my own.

I shall wait and see what happens next, hoping against hope that he will give up. If he doesn't, I shall certainly talk to the police, as I feel helpless in the face of someone who completely ignores me when I say NO.

Stupidly, I shredded his first letter, but I kept a copy of my reply, and have taken a phone picture of his second letter and the yellow sticky I attached to it before sending it back to him.

Thank you again, lovely Gransnetters, for your kind advice.

Theoddbird Sat 15-Oct-16 15:50:33

Just tell him you are gay....that should keep him away...hahaha

Seriously though... You do not even have to acknowledge him. Do not answer any messages. He will soon realize and get fed up!

kazbar Sat 15-Oct-16 17:27:28

Sounds like harassment as you've already made it clear your not interested. So yes I think it would be considered as stalking. It's a good idea getting a male relative to interviene. Good luck

phoenix Sat 15-Oct-16 17:32:23

If it just letters, then surely it is easily ingnored?

Anything else, persistent phone calls, texts, emails, visits etc may be another matter.

How close to you does this man live?

inishowen Sat 15-Oct-16 18:31:54

I had this happen when I was young. A man I worked with would constantly come into my office and "chat me up". I didn't fancy him in the least and he was a lot older than me. He kept it up when I became engaged. To top it all I received a love letter on my wedding day from him. I threw it straight on the fire. Luckily hubby and I were moving abroad so I finally got free of him. I do believe it was stalking, and I think the OP is being stalked.

Battersea1971 Sat 15-Oct-16 21:07:05

You are only talking about two letters so think you are slightly over reacting. You say you've known him for 20 years so it's not as if it's a stranger, just a lonely little soul who wants a friend. Don't even respond to the letters. He has only asked you out so not sure about reporting him to the police.

FarNorth Sat 15-Oct-16 21:55:35

How do you know what the letters said Battersea1971?