‘It’s taken a toll on my life’: Victims’ Commissioner targeted by stalker for 19 years

 (Daily Mail)
(Daily Mail)

London’s Victims Commissioner was “angry” and filled with despair when she realised her long-time stalker had allegedly flouted a ban on contacting her with a letter to the Mayor of London, she told a court.

Claire Waxman said unwanted attentions of Elliot Fogel, a former Sky Sports producer who she knew briefly in college, have “chipped away at my life” and left her fearing for the safety of her children.

Fogel has a string of convictions and served three prison sentences since 2003, and is now banned under a lifetime restraining order from contacting Ms Waxman or her family, jurors at Harrow crown court heard.

He is back on trial again, accused of breaking the restraining order by ‘liking’ a Tweet about Ms Waxman and then sending a letter of complaint to her boss, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

“I met this man 31 years ago, and I’ve been a victim of this continuous harassment and stalking since 2003. It’s a very very long time, in and out of court over 19 years, and it has taken a toll on my life”, Ms Waxman told the court on Wednesday.

“I felt despair because I didn’t want to do this anymore. It’s been so many years. I was upset, angry, and frustrated that I had to do this again.”

Fogel, 47, – once dubbed “the stalker who won’t stop stalking” – was jailed for three-and-a-half years in 2015 for a vexacious attempt to sue Ms Waxman for libel, in breach of a ban on contacting her.

Jurors were told of Fogel’s convictions in 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2012, when he broke the ban on contacting Ms Waxman, passed by her home and workplace, and made calls to her mobile phone.

In newspaper reports, Fogel has been accused of Googling Ms Waxman’s name 40,000 times in a single year, having her wedding photo as his screensaver, paying for a background search on her husband Marc, and posing as a parent at her daughter’s nursery.

Claire Waxman is London’s Victims Commissioner
Claire Waxman is London’s Victims Commissioner

It is also said he broke into Ms Waxman’s car, left heavy-breathing messages on her answerphone, and sent her an anniversary card to mark six years of the restraining order.

The latest case was sparked when Ms Waxman - appointed by the Mayor to champion the rights of victims - posted a Tweet in June last year about the government’s rape review.

Fogel, using an account handle Legof Productions, is accused of ‘liking’ a reply to Ms Waxman’s post which referred to “a man’s life being ruined by false allegations”.

Ms Waxman said she had a professional obligation to pass it on to the police, even though she knew of the tiring consequences of going through a criminal case.

“I know it’s just a ‘like’ on Twitter, but for me it’s much much more”, she said. “For me, it’s a prod to say ‘I’m still here’.”

In February this year, Fogel sent a letter to the Mayor, accusing Ms Waxman of “wasting police time and money” with the investigation into the Tweet and complaining about “hurtful and shocking” allegations made publicly about him.

Fogel claimed there was “absolutely no evidence” of a string of allegations including the heavy-breathing phone calls, posing as a parent at nursery, and breaking into Ms Waxman’s car, suggesting they “go well beyond my convictions and completely distort the entire narrative”.

Giving evidence, Ms Waxman said she expected more contact after the Tweet incident because Fogel’s attentions always “follow the same pattern”.

“I was very upset because it meant I was back where we had been over the years, back to this again”, she said. “It told me Mr Fogel was actively stalking me again.”

She said the “vexacious” letter – passed on to her by the Mayor’s office - could have had serious consequences for her role as London Victims’ Commissioner, and brought past traumas “flooding back”.

“It has a huge impact, not just on me but on my children’s lives”, she added. “It’s chipping away at my life. This is someone I told repeatedly I never want any form of contact with, but they don’t go away.”

Fogel, who accompanied the letter with two newspaper articles about Ms Waxman, insists his actions did not breach the restraining order or amount to stalking.

“It did exactly that”, said prosecutor Sonya Saul. “The restraining order prevents him from contacting Claire Waxman in any way, directly or indirectly.

“When he liked the Tweet, that was indirect contact. When he wrote to the Mayor of London, he again breached the order. The letter was all about her, the Mayor of London is Claire Waxman’s ultimate boss, and she would inevitably see that letter and be alarmed and distressed.”

Fogel, from Edgware, denies stalking and three allegations of breaching a restraining order. The trial continues.