Doctor whose Wigan stalking case became national news secures indefinite restraining order

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A doctor whose stalking case made national headlines after it was mishandled by the authorities has spoken of her relief after the courts further banned her tormentor from contacting her – possibly for life.

Dr Marie Gerval received an apology from the Crown Prosecution Service after it admitted that Kelvin James should have been charged with a more serious form of stalking than he was taken to court with, after the stress of the case caused much of her hair to fall out.

It also later emerged that a Lancashire Police officer who tried to play down the case was himself convicted of stalking.

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Marie GervalMarie Gerval
Marie Gerval

And Greater Manchester Police dropped counter-allegations of stalking made by 59-year-old Orrell handyman James against Dr Gerval after an investigation which, she said, not only dragged on for months but should never have happened in the first place.

James was charged under section 2A of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and appeared in court to admit placing a tracking device on Dr Gerval’s car.

It was later admitted by the CPS that had it received an update on Dr Gerval’s health, there was scope to have charged him under section 4A which says that the stalking caused fear of violence or serious distress.

As it was the magistrates’ powers under section 2A were very limited and he was given a 12-month community order and a restraining order preventing any contact with his victim.

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Kelvin JamesKelvin James
Kelvin James

But now, after representations from Dr Gerval, that order, which was due to run out earlier this month, has been renewed and will continue until a further one is issued.

The terms include forbidding any approaches on social media or getting third parties to contact her.

It warns James that a breach of it could result in a sentence of up to five years in prison.

Dr Gerval said: “I cannot express how so absolutely relieved I am that this will provide some security for my life moving forwards. In theory this restraining order could be permanent.”

She recently appeared in an ITV documentary – Stalking: State Of Fear – talking about her case. It is still available to watch on ITVX.