For two and half years, from the end of 2010 until mid 2013, I was stalked by a violent mentally disturbed stalker, Charlotte Coursier. This blogpost lists those incidents in some detail. There are many eyewitnesses who themselves saw these incidents and later recorded them in statements.
We had met in November 2008, when she asked me to help with an essay, and then suddenly dropped out of Edinburgh university, where I was a lecturer and she was a third year student. This crisis had been going on for three or four previous years and had, according to her, involved at least one previous suicide attempt. After this crisis lasting for several months, which involved multiple suicide attempts (I prevented three of them), and thousands of telephone calls and messages, this all settled down. She returned to university in 2009 and things seemed to have returned to normal.
I assumed then that this crisis in late 2008 was a temporary blip and was now over. I was proven wrong. For, two years later, from late 2010, she turned into the stalker from hell. I separated from my wife in October 2010, after what had been an unhappy period of about 6 years (largely caused by extreme financial hardship and repeatedly having had to move from job to job), and went to live with a friend and began divorce proceedings.
In November 2010, Coursier persuaded me to have a short relationship with her. This ended very rapidly, after about three weeks of domestic violence, when she sexually assaulted me.
After that, I broke off contact with her. But she then threatened, harassed and stalked me for a further two and half years. This continued through to June 2013 in Oxford, where she had followed me in 2012. Her boyfriend, a student, ended their relationship on 10 June 2013 (in London). She returned home and took her own life the same day around 3pm. This occurred in the house in Oxford of her American militant feminist housemate, Brooke Berndtson, who had for three months cajoled and manipulated Coursier into making false complaints based on no evidence whatsoever. A house that was described by other students as a "madhouse" (another housemate there, a Japanese graduate student, had been writing blogposts describing how he'd like to commit suicide).
Over the two years we were close (2008 - 2010) in Edinburgh, Coursier received nothing from me except kindness and help, while all others who knew her ignored her.
For example, on 25 April 2009, Coursier emailed me:
I tried calling everyone I know today and those who picked up told me to cheer up and fuck off cos they had work to do. I'm so very tired of all of this. It's such shit.Her life was saved by me on three occasions after she dropped out of university in November 2008. On the second occasion, on 13 February 2009, she took an overdose of more than 100 paracetamol tablets and sleeping tablets; she texted me saying she couldn't face living any more; I located her (she had gone to a hotel) and took her to Edinburgh Infirmary. When she left hospital on 15 February 2009, I notified all relevant authorities, including my Dept Head and Edinburgh's Student Counselling Service (who refused to intervene, as she is "an adult"). She was able to return to university in September 2009 because of my intervening repeatedly for seven months between November 2008 and May 2009. She obtained her degree in 2011 because I helped her whenever she contacted me, which was hundreds of times. In June 2011, she wrote to me acknowledging this: "you are still the person that saved my life and my degree". And again, in August 2011, she wrote: "for three years you were my life". Which is true and I asked for nothing in return. Unlike a large number of others, I was only ever concerned for her wellbeing. She pursued me romantically for years and I repeatedly rejected her romantic advances and demands.
The events described below were eyewitnessed by a large number of eyewitnesses, including seven unconnected individuals, who witnessed Coursier stalking me between May 2010 and May 2013. There are also many incidents in the previous two years -- between November 2008 and 24 November 2010 -- which I eventually realised were incidents of BPD stalking from Coursier, although I did not interpret them as such at the time during those two years. I didn’t know about Borderline Personality Disorder and the forms of behaviour from people with BPD: stalking, manipulation, projection, splitting, lying, violence, domestic abuse, proxy recruitment, etc.
These events include:
- Hundreds, maybe thousands, of texts, messages and telephone calls from her to me, between November 2008 and May 2009, often many times daily for many hours, when she threatened suicide repeatedly -- hundreds of times. I prevented those specific attempts on three occasions and notified the relevant authorities. I also notified her mother too. (My explicit requests for help from the university were rejected.) This is how my wife recorded this later:
- Her repeated initiation of contact with me over the next 18 months, starting in August 2009, as she had taken a year’s leave of absence in December 2008; she asked me to arrange to readmit her back to university, which I did via the University’s administration; she returned in September 2009;
- Her constant contact, between 2009 and 2010, asking for advice about her life, her friends, her course, her essay work, combined with a great deal of flirting, telling me she loved me, and suggestions that I was some sort of “boyfriend”.
- A much later incident, in May 2010, when Coursier came to my home, shouted at my wife, then left and made threatening phone calls. I notified the police, who located her and detained her. At the same time (Coursier knew this, but showed no empathy for other people’s lives), my mother was dying of a severe lung illness; she had just been taken into hospital in Birmingham (300 miles away) and she died a few days later, in June 2010. After this, I broke off contact with her for five months.
- Her reinitiation of contact later, in September 2010, when she began coming to my lectures, pretending not to know me. After several weeks of this stalking, I asked her by phone to stop doing this. I did not, at the time, intepret this as stalking. I interpreted it as her being in love with me. Also in September 2010, our house was burgled, and we had our car stolen and my computer stolen.
- This all led to the compete ruin of my relationship with my wife. We split up in late October 2010 and I went to share a flat with a friend in early November 2010. I began divorce proceedings against my wife in October 2010.
- At the start of November 2010, Coursier contacted me by phone and asked to visit; and there began a short romantic relationship which was horrific from start to end: three weeks of domestic abuse.
24 Nov 2010. Sexual assaults by Coursier
After three weeks of domestic abuse, shouting, threats and violence from her, Coursier sexually assaults me twice in the early hours at my friend’s flat in Bread St, in central Edinburgh. I tell her to leave. She refuses and begins shouting. I take refuge in the flat’s kitchen. There is an eyewitness (my flatmate who was standing outside the flat’s front door). Police are called. Eventually, they leave, giving me a “Victim support” note.
I do not press charges against this rapist and psychopath.
I keep the "Victim support" note.
Four days before this (20 Nov 2010), she had also sexually assaulted me. See also here ("Female sexual violence", from BBC documentary "Male Rape: Breaking the Silence", 10 December 2017):
"She decided she wanted to have sex with me. She got on top of me and forced me to have sex with her. I was saying, “No, really, please stop. I don’t like this. I don’t want this.” That happened: she got astride me, had sex, got off and went to sleep. After that I just thought: that’s it, that’s the end between us; I’m not going to continue with this. Anyway, that was really just the beginning. Just total disbelief that a woman could be domestically violent, that a women could sexually assault you and could stalk you and terrify you. But it was true and I was just disbelieved."(25:55)The second occasion, on 24 November 2010, there is a separate eyewitness, my flatmate, who could later confirm what she had done on that occasion. He recorded what had happened in his diary, noting that Coursier had "refused not to sit on him". He also recorded her stalking me.
25 November 2010. Breaking off contact with stalker
After her sexual assaults and violence, I tell Coursier I don’t wish to have contact with her and that she has been banned from visiting the flat by my flatmate. She insists on us meeting again. I reluctantly agree to this.
About 10 Dec 2010. Stalking
She asks me to come with her to an art exhibition at the Dean Gallery in central Edinburgh. I agree to meet in town, where we see this exhibition and then have a coffee. I had ensured that I could escape from her obsessive stalking, by arranging to meet my flatmate at 7pm. She refuses to leave and follows me back to the flat, where I am met, as arranged, by my flatmate. Eventually, I persuade her to leave.
10 Dec - 31 Dec 2010 Stalking
My flatmate reports seeing her lurking outside the flat on several occasions.
29 Dec 2010 - 5 Jan 2011. Stalking/threats
Hundreds of texts and threatening messages to me from Coursier. I am ill with a very bad infection and in bed. She threatens suicide. I contact her friend Rosa, and ask her to deal with the harassment, stalking and threats, as I am too unwell. By this point, we are terrified of Coursier’s behaviour.
2 Jan 2011. Stalking
I receive a message from her, apologizing for her behaviour (on Facebook).
2 January 2011 19:23:16 GMT: “… It's sad that it always had to end like this. … I'll always love you.”I ignore it.
4 Jan 2011 Stalking
I receive a threatening message (on Facebook).
4 January 2011 20:41:57 GMT: “I know you don't want to hear from me but this is the last chance I'll have to say goodbye.”I ignore it.
I'm too ill to do anything anyway. I contact her friend Rosa, and ask her to deal with the harassment, stalking and threats.
"Hello Rosa. This is Jeffrey. Sorry to contact you in the middle of the night. Charlotte is still harassing me and stalking me and threatening to kill herself. I have a very serious chest infection, which has left me in bed for most of the last week and half" (5 January 2011, 4.00 AM)January 2011
My flatmate, myself and my wife are now terrified of Coursier. We know what she is capable of doing. My wife (we had separated in October 2010; at this point, she was in Spain visiting her family in Madrid) is worried about a knife missing from the kitchen. I ignore any further contact from Coursier and I throw away a number of gifts she had given me in the previous two years.
I then move to Germany at the end of the month (Jan 2011) for a new academic position.
By then, I have quite severe PTSD symptoms caused by the abuse, threats, harassment and stalking. These include persistent nightmares, intense social anxiety, particularly at night, and hypervigilance. These symptoms have never gone away.
24 March 2011. Stalking in Edinburgh pub
In early March 2011, I mention in a Facebook comment to friend that I am going to travel from Munich and visit Edinburgh for a few days, around my birthday. We arrange in the comments on Facebook to meet in an Edinburgh pub. This is all visible to anyone on Facebook.
On that day, I arrive at the pub. In the bar, Coursier is sitting there alone. Textbook stalking. She clearly had known I would be there from the Facebook conversation and was waiting for me. This incident also told me that she was monitored my actions online. Again, textbook stalking.
I ignore her and wait for my friends to arrive. After they do, we spend the evening in the pub and then we go to a fish & chips diner nearby.
Coursier left the pub after I ignored her. She then frantically texted me repeatedly over several hours asking why I refused to speak to her (she knew the reason: her violence and stalking). I ignored all of these messages.
The next day, 25 March 2011, she emailed me:
I ignored it.
June, July, August 2011. Stalking and a barrage of abuse and threats
The period December 2010 - August 2011 saw a barrage of abusive messages, threats, texts and emails from Coursier. I ignore all her text messages and all her emails, except one. For most of that time, I was working in Munich, and only spent a few days in Edinburgh.
On 3 June 2011, Coursier emailed me news of her degree result. She thanked me for saving her life and degree. This is true. I did and I asked for nothing in return. I replied a few days later and congratulated her. She replied to that asking if we could talk on the phone. I replied saying I didn't wish to speak to her. She then retaliated with an abusive email. I replied telling her to "stop sending abusive and threatening emails":
This is the sequence of emails:
3 June 2011 18:30:50 BST: “I just wanted to say sorry for anything I did to hurt you. I was completely out of my mind for a long time. … after all you are still the person that saved my life and my degree! … I’ll always love you and be wishing you well.”[From me, “Congratulations, Charlotte. Well done! I'm really pleased” (8 June 2011 22:53:39 BST).]
15 June 2011 14:20:40 BST: “Would you like to talk on the phone at some point Jeffrey? I'd really like to know how you've been.”[From me, “That's not a good idea, I'm afraid - it would end in arguments. Think about the future. I hope the job you mentioned goes well” (18 June 2011 22:53:39 BST).]
18 June 2011 14:07:40 BST: “I should have taken the hint when you left me to O.D. on a hotel-room floor with no one to help me. … But at least I forgive you and I honestly hope you can make your loveless marriage work … I have a wonderful boyfriend who I trust and really does care about me. I am thinking about the future - by the looks of things mine's going to be a good one from here. Goodbye Jeff.”
7 July 2011 20:38:50 BST: “I know what you did. …”[From me, “Please stop sending abusive and threatening emails” (9 July 2011 22:53:39 BST).]
In August 2011, Coursier sent a series of abusive and increasingly unhinged emails, containing threats:
9 August 2011 00:54:17 BST: “I haven’t been completely honest … I’m still so obviously in love with you. … I split up with my boyfriend because I’m still not over you.”
14 August 2011 21:01:00 BST: “I'm terrified Jeffrey. I don't know what to do. I really need help. Please tell me what I should do and that's what I'll do”.
14 August 2011 22:15:29 BST: “I need someone, anyone to help me. I can't do it. I'm begging the world for another option. Please, I don't want to hurt anyone. I never have. I just want it to stop. How do I make it stop? I want it to stop.”
16 August 2011 00:18:32 BST: “No one will help me. Why? I can't answer. They don't care, in which case I shouldn't be concerned, although I still am.”
16 August 2011 00:37:59 BST: “I've made it very clear that I still care about you and I don't want you to be hurt. SO, remember that ok. Goodbye my old best friend. … But I wouldn't change any of it, to love someone so completely is the only real way of living.”
16 August 2011 19:36:52 BST: “I've been trying my hardest to carry on Jeffrey. … Like I said before, I carried on with everything for you, but I see no end to all this pain. … I don't want to hurt anyone Jeffrey. I'm not being threatening or manipulative”
18 August 2011 14:46:01 BST: "... you've made yourself perfectly clear by ignoring me. I know it doesn't excuse it and I am really sorry for hurting you. … saying I'm harassing you, stalking you, threatening you, being abusive. … I'm genuinely struggling and I just wanted a little support, because you were the person - once upon a time - that saved my life. … I sank back because for three years Jeffrey you were my world, I loved you more than I've loved anyone. You put so much on the line to help me ...”I ignored them all. They were extremely threatening and frightening.
She said she had "split up up with my boyfriend" because she was "still so obviously in love" with me. I ignored this.
She sent a series of crazy emails containing threats. I ignored them.
On 18 August 2011, she sent a long email promising not to send any more abusive messages, telling me "for three years Jeffrey you were my world". I ignored it.
I never wished Coursier ill, but her behaviour was psychopathically abusive: manipulation, lying, abuse, threats, anger, "splitting", projection. By mid 2011, having spoken to some friends with medical expertise, I had now realised that Coursier was BPD. Before 2011, I had not even heard of BPD. My main hopes from then on were that she would get proper treatment for her personality disorder and stop being threatening and abusive towards me.
After August 2011, through to March 2013, I made three mistakes: each was an attempt to placate her. But, as those who have experienced BPD often explain -- having made the same mistake themselves many times -- trying to placate someone with BPD never works.
November 2011: Conversations on Skype
In early November 2011, I received an email from Edinburgh's Philosophy Society, which mentioned that Coursier was now involved with them in doing some kind of academic advice group. Hoping Coursier could be trusted not to behave insanely, I emailed her congratulations on that. This was a big mistake.
She then rang me and suggested we talk on Skype. We spoke on Skype perhaps 4 times between 10 November 2011 and 20 November 2011.
Much of this consisted in Coursier telling me how deeply in love she was with me; she told me about her boyfriend in Edinburgh whom she "didn't love" but who "enjoyed having sex with her". (I feel exceptionally sorry for this guy. Coursier must have severely abused him for about a year.) She apologised several times for having assaulted me a year earlier. She told me she wanted to come to Munich and live with me; that she wanted us to get married; that she wanted to become a schoolteacher and have children.
I told her that this was all insane nonsense; that thanks to me being so kind to her for years, she could now do whatever she wanted; and that she desperately needed to get expert psychiatric help. She told me she had now been diagnosed in Edinburgh with "Complex-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder". She knew of course that this is simply politically correct code for Borderline Personality Disorder: BPD.
After these four conversations, I broke off contact with her again. It was impossible to reason with someone so severely out of touch with reality.
However, I had made a mistake. On 20 November 2011, I applied to Oxford for a position there as a Professor of philosophical logic and Fellowship at Pembroke College. I am very well-qualified for that, having a very strong publication record in that area and I worked in the same field as a number of colleagues there, who were keen for me to move there and work with them.
My mistake was that I told Coursier about it, on the same day I applied, saying I was quite optimistic. She now knew I'd probably be in Oxford in 2012. At no point did she ever mention being interested in graduate studies. She told me she wanted to become a teacher. But four months later, in March 2012, she revealed she was now following me there.
March 2012. Stalking me to Oxford; and illness
In February 2012, I was still working in Munich, Germany. But I was offered and accepted the job at Oxford mentioned above. I had applied for this in November 2011, and was confident of my application. Coursier knew all this because I had told her on Skype the very day I sent my application (20 November 2011). At no point did she reveal to me any interest of hers in graduate studies. She told me her plan was to become a teacher.
Assuming that Coursier was no longer going to continue her obsessive campaign, I emailed her the news, as I was very excited about this good news, the first good news for years. This was my second mistake, She replied asking me to speak on Skype. She revealed that she had applied to Oxford in January 2012 to do a graduate course and now had a place there.
I had no idea this would happen. I was shocked and panic-stricken by this revelation. Coursier had never shown any interest in pursuing graduate studies, and now had revealed she was following me to Oxford. She later sent me further emails requesting to speak on Skype.
My wife, who was in Spain, also Skyped me that evening, and emailed me slightly later that I "looked unwell". The next day, I told my wife that Coursier was now following us to Oxford. My wife was distraught and terrified by this.
Nothing we could do could prevent this endless campaign of stalking. I briefly emailed Coursier:
Over the next few days I became increasingly ill. By the end of the week, I could barely walk with intense pain.
I left Munich in March 2012 and travelled to London for medical treatment for three months, From March 2012 until June 2012 I was treated for severe stress-related prostatitis. When I got better, I returned to Munich and finished off my lecturing duties there, which ended in August 2012. My wife and I are reconciled after the shock of learning Coursier was following us there; we moved to Oxford in August 2012 and rented a small house.
We are both intensely frightened of Coursier.
My wife repeatedly points out that Coursier was only able to follow us there because of the three years of help I had given her between 2008 and 2011. My wife suggests we report Coursier to the police in Oxford. I am reluctant because, as both of us knew, Coursier's response to others discovering her patterns of violence, abuse and lying was always to engage in violence, abuse and lying.
30 Nov 2012 Stalking at Philosophy Faculty
After a seminar talk, there is a Faculty Party for staff and graduate students. I’m briefly standing outside the room where this is held, but decide to leave when I notice Coursier is there (she sees me too). I say goodbye to the two people I was speaking to and leave the building. Outside, I meet a post-doc and the Graduate Director, who immediately goes back inside. The post-doc asks me if I want a cigarette.
A few seconds later, Coursier comes outside and stands right next to me, pretending not to know me. This is, yet again, stalking.
I tell the post-doc I need to speak to this woman standing next to me. (He has later confirmed all this in a witness statement.)
30 Nov 2012. Coursier’s conversation about rape, abuse, "child-murder" and "crucifixion"
After approaching me, Coursier says "hello" and engages in what I can only call a psychopathic conversation, which was the last time we ever spoke to each other. In fact, it was the only time we spoke to each other face-to-face over the whole two and half year period, after she assaulted me in November 2010, until her boyfriend dumped her the following year, in June 2013.
She first asks me how my son is and I show her a photo on my phone. She tells me she doesn’t want to know anything about my wife -- whom she had already been stalking in Oxford for two months.
She begins talking about her father (Paul Marklew), who had tried to commit suicide earlier that year in 2012. She recounts how Marklew had, in the 1990s, “repeatedly raped” her mother; how one of her mother’s friends who was a lodger in their home in Birmingham in the early 1990s had sexually abused her as a child; how her father, diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, had “fantasied about murdering his children and being crucified”.
I listen to this and don’t engage. It’s insane.
I briefly ask her about her BPhil course and she tells me it was ok and her supervisor is Dr Lizzie Fricker.
I make an excuse, leave and go home. The conversation lasted at most 3 or 4 minutes.
She is a psychopath and I am more terrified than I had been at any previous point.
October 2012 - Feb 2013. Stalking my wife
Coursier must have arrived in Oxford in October 2012. I much later (February 2014) learned that she was receiving treatment at Oxford's Warneford Psychiatric Hospital for her suicidal behaviour.
From October 2012, Coursier began to stalk my wife, with multiple incidents of Coursier coincidentally loitering in the same place, as my wife walks in town, through the months to December 2012 and January and February 2013. Coursier was targetting my wife because she was obsessed with both my wife and my son. This was my wife's statement about that:
March 2013. Stalking my wife out of Oxford
At the start of March 2013, my wife left Oxford with my son. I am absolutely shattered by what this stalking psychopath Coursier is doing to us. We are powerless to stop it. I decide that I need to try and do something about it and tell others and ask for help.
Around 1 March 2013, a friend (in Austria) realises something is wrong and asks why my wife has gone. I tell her she had been stalked out of town and that I am at my wits end. She pays attention to what I told her and about Coursier's background of violence, abuse and suicide attempts. She consults with an academic friend with expertise in abnormal psychology and agrees it is probably Borderline Personality Disorder.
Without my knowing, she contacts someone she knows in Oxford's Faculty of Philosophy, the Faculty's Graduate Teaching Co-ordinator, Dr Bill Child, and informs him that one of his students, Charlotte Coursier, has a long record of violence and suicide attempts and that "they should know how to get professional help very quickly if she behaved in any unusual way":
Much later, it turns out that this welfare notification about Coursier was ignored.
(The failure to do anything was later covered up, by Professor Christopher Shields, the Chair of Oxford's Philosophy Faculty in 2013. Prof Shields received several emails from this eyewitness in late 2013 when he was doing everything in his power to have me fired and publicly lynched. He ignored these emails.)
By early March, Coursier had succeeded in driving my wife out of Oxford with stalking. I was frightened to go anywhere near the Faculty. I avoided going anywhere in Oxford where she might conceivably be. It was terrifying. In mid March, desperate for all this to stop, I email Coursier a short email to try and placate her. This was my third mistake. She replies she doesn't want us to be in contact. I reply that this is fine and agree.
I then went away for about a month, to three conferences: one in Amsterdam, one in Munich and one in Buenos Aires. In Buenos Aires, I tell my Oxford colleague there about what has been happening for the previous four years. He advises me to not let her contact me in any way.
When I return from these three trips in April 2013, I arrange to meet a counsellor with expertise in BPD and ask for advice.
I also notify both the Academic Director and Chaplain at my College and ask for advice. Neither really had much specific advice to give, except for me to reject any unwelcome contact from her and to notify others if she does begin stalking again.
Coursier's stalking of me did begin again only a few weeks later, in May 2013.
March 2013. The abortion
I did not know about any events in Coursier’s life after her assault and threats against me in November & December 2010. I didn’t know who she associated with, who her friends were, etc. Nothing. I was terrified of this psychopath and avoided contact with her.
In February 2014, it was revealed to me that, in March 2013, Coursier had had an abortion, after her boyfriend had impregnated her and persuaded her to terminate the pregnancy. This was kept secret from me by many others who knew about it. I was only told about it by accident, because Oxford University (who covered it up) passed on the details to their own lawyer in October 2013, and then it was passed on through a chain of quite separate lawyers, eventually reaching me, four months later, in February 2014. Her boyfriend had persuaded Coursier to have an abortion in mid March 2013, and she apparently felt she had “murdered her child” and could not get over it.
This abortion was the trigger that caused her mental state to degenerate into delusions, her desperate attempts to convince her boyfriend not to leave her, her delusional fabrications and slander against me and her attempts to make contact with me again, which began in May 2013.
I was not told of any of this until 9 months later, at the end of December 2013. It was all covered up and kept secret (by Professor Christopher Shields).
6 May 2013. Stalking at Philosophy Faculty
After arriving in Oxford in August 2012, I did my best to avoid the Philosophy Faculty, because of Coursier’s stalking. But out of respect for my colleague who organized it, I attended a weekly logic seminar on Mondays at 4.30pm there.
On 6 May 2013, I arrive slightly late, at 4.35pm. Coursier is sitting outside on the grass with some friends. I am very worried by this; distracted, I nearly bump into a colleague Hillary Greaves (whom I barely know). I ignore Coursier and go to the seminar. At 5.30pm, in the break in the middle of the seminar, I go outside for a cigarette. Another colleague, Professor Saunders, comes outside too and starts a conversation with me. Coursier is sitting alone in the foyer. I ignore her.
Coursier follows me outside and stands nearby staring at me for a few minutes.
This is textbook stalking. I ignore it. It is extremely distressing.
7 May 2013. Stalking at Pembroke College
In April 2013, I set up a Philosophy Club at my college, Pembroke College, for my undergraduates and graduate students, which runs from 5.30 - 7.00pm on Tuesdays. We arrange several talks and this is advertised on Facebook. The attendees are students at Pembroke, a couple of academic colleagues at Pembroke and my own graduate student (at Magdalen). At 5.30pm, 7 May 2013, I am awaiting the start of the meeting outside the room, in the college. Two graduate students arrive at 5.30pm, but Coursier is now with them. She has invited herself to the club. This is textbook stalking. I ignore her. She seats herself one seat away from me, pretending not to know me. This is textbook stalking.
I feel extremely physically ill during the seminar talk.
At the end, I quickly go outside and await my graduate student. The others come out shortly afterwards. One of them announces, “This is my friend Charlotte. She is from Birmingham, like you!”
This is textbook stalking. I ignore this and walk off to the College lodge. Coursier follows me, but I ignore her; and then she leaves.
My graduate student can see I am visibly distressed. We go for dinner and I tell him what has just happened and who this unhinged woman Coursier is.
In the evening, a friend on Facebook asks me how things are and I tell her about the stalking incidents from Coursier and how terrified I am.
I write an extremely polite email to Coursier requesting that she stop contacting me and leave me alone. I won't include the whole email, as it's too personal, but here is the start of this request that she stop contacting me:
7 May - 22 May 2013. Slander, fabrication and harassment
Instead of complying with my request not to contact me, Coursier begins a campaign of insane fabrication, slander and lying.
She first lies to several others about what has just happened. She had deliberately stalked me on two consecutive days, as witnessed by many others. Coursier contacts me again, this time with lies written by two American militant feminists (13 May 2017).
I reply to this harassment from Coursier on 15 May and 17 May telling her this is defamatory harassment, reminding her of her assaulting me, threatening me, and abusing me in the past, and reminding her of all the help she had received from me:
I beg her to be reasonable.
Instead of either complying or being reasonable, her revenge behaviour becomes psychopathic.
Two days later, 19 May 2013, I am visited by a Thames Valley police officer, PC Wizard, who asks me to sign his notebook: this bizarre police activity in the UK is called a "PIN"; no evidence is required for this notification; no statement is taken from the accuser; it is simply the word of one person making an accusation.
People outside the UK frequently do not grasp what a "PIN" is in the UK. It is has no legal basis whatsoever. It is an opportunity for the vengeful personon to falsely accuse their victim, with no investigation, no statement given, no right of reply and no right of appeal. For an example of this in the public eye,
BBC presenter Diane Louise Jordan said she has had "a tough three years" trying to clear her name after being wrongly accused of harassment. The ex-Blue Peter presenter said her career suffered after she was issued with a PIN (Police Information Notice). She was given the PIN, sometimes called a Harassment Warning Notice, in 2014 for allegedly harassing the partner of her daughter's estranged husband. Her accuser received a suspended 18-month prison sentence on Thursday." ("Diane Louise Jordan speaks out against harassment notices", BBC, 27 April 2017).The use of such "PIN"s in soon to be ended in the UK, thanks no doubt to them being a dangerous vehicle for abuse, revenge and false accusations.
[Much later, in 2014, it eventually transpires that it was Coursier's American feminist housemate Brooke Berndtson who was cajoling Coursier into making all these false complaints. Berndtson's behaviour had an appalling impact on Coursier, ruining Coursier's life and preventing Coursier receiving emergency medical attention which might have saved her life.]
I tell PC Wizard that Coursier was stalking and harassing me; that she had been extremely violent to me in the past; that she had a police record in Scotland; and I had merely asked her to stop contacting me. I tell him about the suicide attempts in the past. I explain that I am extremely concerned about her.
Three days after this, on 22 May 2013, a separate police officer PC Osborne telephones me and tells me that Coursier now wishes to withdraw her false accusations and lies, and wants no one to be told. I tell this police officer that Coursier has stalked, harassed, threatened and abused me for years and that I had told her to stop contacting me at my seminars. I later emailed PC Osborne:
PC Osborne now realises that I am the victim of Coursier's stalking and abuse, and makes a note of this in her records.
I warn PC Osborne that Coursier may have become severely mentally unstable again, that she had made suicide attempts in the past (which I had prevented) and that I am extremely concerned.
The police officer tells me to contact them again, if Coursier reinitates her contact with me.
This I did, because Coursier stalked me again two weeks later, on 3 June 2013, at the Philosophy Faculty.
3 June 2013. Stalking at Philosophy Faculty
The Faculty seminar happens at 4.30pm on Mondays. I arrive slightly early, at 4.15pm. I strike up a conversation with my colleague and the Faculty UG administrator on the first floor landing near the seminar room, The Ryle Room. I see no other students in the building during that period of 3 or 4 minutes or so.
After a minute, Coursier comes out of the nearby kitchen on the first floor, walks past me, and then goes to the stairs, turning around staring at me as she walks down. This is textbook stalking.
She has been there waiting from me. I ignore it. Around 4.20pm, I go outside quickly to have a cigarette. When I come back in, Coursier again walks past me, this time accompanied with another woman -- whom I later learn (many months later) was Brooke Berndtson. I ignore them both and go the seminar.
5 June 2013. Reporting stalking to Thames Valley Police
On 22 May 2013, PC Wizard and PC Osborne had realised I was the victim of Coursier's stalking. I had been told by PC Osborne to report it to the police again if Coursier makes contact again. I email PC Wizard on 5 June 2013 to ask him if I can see him again.
I want to report what has just happened (Coursier contacting me again) and find out what has been happening. He replies saying he cannot make a meeting that week, and it will have to wait until the following week (12 June 2013).
10 June 2013
Coursier’s boyfriend ends their relationship in London at around 11am. Coursier makes a series of suicide threats, saying “I don’t want to live without you”. She returns from London to her house in Oxford, shared with her American feminist housemate Brooke Berndtson (who is also there at the time), and takes her own life around 3pm in her bedroom.
In the morning of 11 June, I am told about this by my colleague at Pembroke, the Academic Director. He comes to my house and we spent the afternoon together. I am completely gutted by this, and I still have no idea why all my warnings were ignored. My wife was in Spain and I tell her by Skype. She is so upset she needs to be given sedative medication.
After: The Oxford lynch mob
From 10 June 2013 onwards, the American housemate Brooke Berndtson and her BPhil supervisor, Dr Paula Boddington, set up a sociopathic lynch mob against me, slandering and smearing me, for nearly 12 months. They recruit a mob of "frenzied" (in the words of the Graduate Director) feminist social justice vigilantes, who harass me out of teaching, demand I be fired and harass me and my family out of our home with anonymous cyber-harassment (calling me a "murderer") reported to the police. My wife subsequently made a complaint to the University about the abusive harassment we had been subjected to, and its effect on our son.
I did not know who these people are; I have never heard of any of them; they knew nothing about the facts; just rumours and invented lies from Berndtson. They distribute their unhinged lies on social media for months from June 2013 to March 2014. They get these lies read out in a coroner's court (26 Feb 2014), which I wasn't even told about, and then published in newspapers, with me not even being consulted for a reply. They author outrageous lies and fabrications about me on blogs and social media, smearing me and demanding my punishment. Oxford briefly fires me, on insane trumped-up grounds, which I then reported on Brian Leiter's widely read weblog.
I appeal against that, with help from the Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire (Darren Salter) and with multiple protests from my own students at Oxford (see below), colleagues who are shocked by the lies, and also from my own academic boss, the Master of Pembroke College.
I prove that these are all false accusations and win. I am then reinstated in August 2014 to my position, and The Sunday Times interviews me and publishes a short account of these false accusations, the witch hunt and my being reinstated.
It was a horrific campaign of lies, smears, intimidation, harassment, fabrication and abuse. Our lives were torn apart by it.