It seems that Matt Taylor is an equal-opportunity stalker. Not only has he made it his business for the past three years to attack RD—for which he states he was arrested in October 2017, and charged with malicious communications—but according to an article in yesterday’s Daily Mail, he has been stalking and terrorising a woman named Katy Bourne for the past five years.
Worse yet, it seems he may get away with it.
Mrs Bourne, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex, has campaigned on behalf of stalking victims. According to the Mail, a dossier of evidence showing Taylor’s harassment of Mrs Bourne has included:
- false online claims that she protected paedophiles;
- false statements that Mrs Bourne had been having an affair with a colleague;
- false allegations that Mrs Bourne had covered up the murder of a local woman;
- various doctored images, published online, including one of a woman’s body in a negligee with Mrs Bourne’s face pasted on;
- covert filming of Mrs Bourne when she was outside her home; and
- publication of footage of a charity abseil in which Mrs Bourne participated, including statements such as “you should have slit her rope”.
And yet, when Mrs Bourne took her harassment complaint to the neighbouring police force in Surrey (to avoid any perception of conflict of interest with the force for which she is Police and Crime Commissioner), the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) ultimately declined to bring a prosecution.
Harassment & stalking are no joke
This raises the obvious question: if Mrs Bourne, whose job involves holding the police to account on behalf of the public, cannot get the police and CPS to take action against Taylor, who has made something of a career of harassing, stalking, and defaming innocent people, who can?
We have laughed at some of Taylor’s more brainless bits of buffoonery here, but we have never lost sight of the fact that his behaviour has done very real and serious harm to real people.
Frankly, we find the CPS’ decision shockingly irresponsible.
Mrs Bourne has said she believes that they made their decision based on the fact that she had already obtained a civil injunction against Taylor. According to the Mail,
A CPS spokesman said: ‘We received a file from the police in March 2017 in relation to an allegation of harassment linked to online blogs.
‘After careful consideration, we concluded the evidential test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors was not met and therefore no charges were authorised.’
We don’t know whether Mrs Bourne has already considered this, but we recently became aware of the Victims’ Right to Review, a procedure which people may use when they are dissatisfied with a CPS decision regarding whether to bring charges. We hadn’t heard about this before, but it seems to us that if ever there was a case which begged for a second look, it would be this one.
‘Stalking is a crime, not a nuisance’
Mrs Bourne, who said when she heard the CPS’ decision it felt like a punch to the stomach, is determined to bring changes to the laws regarding harassment and stalking. According to the Mail,
In response, she is set to make a major speech in London tomorrow calling for stronger legal protection, and a cultural shift in attitude, to better serve the 700,000 women a year in Britain who find themselves a victim of stalking.
Although stalking has been a criminal offence since 2012, Mrs Bourne is backing plans, currently going through Parliament, to introduce Stalking Protection Orders, which would allow police to prohibit contact even before a prosecution.
Mrs Bourne said: ‘Stalking is a really insidious crime and wears you down over a long period of time. We need a cultural change. Stalking is a crime, not a nuisance.’