Lowde and Clear…

Many thanks to Genette (in comments) for directing me to this from the Oxford Mail:

Cyberstalker Felicity Jane Lowde has been caught by police as she sat in an Internet cafe typing away.

One element of this that has not been made public to this point, but which I think can now be safely revealed is that in addition to the sterling efforts made by bloggers through the blog button ‘wanted’ campaign, some have also provided IP address information from comments posted by Lowde on their blogs to the police, via Rachel, information that has contributed towards the police’s efforts to trace Lowde’s location, alongside the legwork undertaken by Rachel herself.

Rachel’s away for a few days taking some well deserved R&R but I’m sure she won’t mind my thanking everyone for their help with this on her behalf in advance of her posting her own thank you’s for all the support and solidarity shown by bloggers.

If there’s a message in this that people should take note of its that whatever our differences in opinion and outlook, we Brit Bloggers look after our own when the need arises.

UPDATE:

I’ve altered the quote, which is the opening line of the Oxford Mail article, in line with an alteration made by the newspaper, which omits information contained in the article as it appeared when I posted this earlier this evening.

The changes may reflect nothing more than a redraft for a later print edition of the paper, or the alterations may reflect changes requested by either Rachel, the Police or made after legal advice – without knowing for sure the safest option is to fall into line with what the paper now says.

19 thoughts on “Lowde and Clear…

  1. Pingback: Bloggerheads
  2. The sad thing is that Lowde looks quite the charmer; and thus you can see why some [men?] have given her the benefit of the doubt or even her bizarre and psychotic ‘viewpoint’.

    She needs treatment, not merely punishment; and Rachel needs some well-deserved rest.

  3. Not necessarily, Chris.

    Aside from the options afforded under the Mental Health Act, the court also has CRASBOs (Criminal ASBOs) at its disposal, a breach of which would carry a sentence of up to five years imprisonment.

  4. Hi Unity,

    Thanks for the mention. I didn’t realise how new the news was when I saw it on the Oxford Mail site.

    I know this is a delicate issue, but the Oxford Mail’s article has been edited in a way that suggests it might have been requested by the person involved. In the spirit of Brit Bloggers looking after their own, perhaps the quotation from the top of your posting could be amended too?

    Then again, maybe it’s trying to put toothpaste back into the tube? I’ll ask Manic at Bloggerheads too, but I don’t think I can do more than that.

    Feel free to delete or not publish this comment – I would have sent it as an e-mail if I could have found your address!

    Genette

  5. Thanks Genette.

    It’s not a delicate issue at all as far as I’m concerned – without knowing precisely why the Oxford Mail made its alterations its best to play safe.

  6. Hi Unity,

    Thanks for making that alteration. I’m happy to say Manic at Bloggerheads has made the same change as you – which just leaves the first comment to this post! Is it possible to amend that too?

    Not meant as flattery but I only came across your blog via Rachel the other day, and I’m impressed. I like the way you take time and go into issues in a bit more depth than a lot of blogs!

    Genette

    ps. Again, you can delete any of my messages as they are really only meant for you.

  7. Good news, I only just posted about this on my blog today. It is good to know justics may finally be administered regarding this sorry affair. My congradulations to the police forces for their efforts.

  8. My understanding is that both are available to the judge in a case such as this.

    Much will depend on the content of the psychiatric and pre-sentencing reports but a solicitor-friend of mine has pointed out that a restraining order would apply only to named individuals (Rachel, J and family).

    They are also of the opinion, however, that there may well be enough evidence of Lowde’s harassing behaviour towards others (Dan Hart, members of casebook) plus her past conviction for stalking an ex-boyfiend to warrant the use of a CRASBO to apply more general restrictions on her behaviour, particularly if the reports identify an escalating pattern of aberrant behaviour.

  9. I see what you mean about why a CRASBO might be appropriate. I don’t fully understand what courts can and can’t do with CRASBOs that, in effect, prohibit you from doing something that’s illegal anyway, though.

    I know that you can use CRASBOs to prohibit something that’s already prohibited, if the illegal activity causes harassment, alarm or distress. Thus, you can have CRASBOs prohibiting soliciting for the purposes of prostitution (personally I don’t think they should be used that way, but the Court of Appeal does) on the grounds that the soliciting causes harassment, alarm or distress to local residents. But you can’t simply use them to increase penalties — courts did originally, but the Court of Appeal has said that’s an inappropriate way to use them.

    Whether or not the Court of Appeal would wear a CRASBO that, in effect, said you mustn’t cause harassment, alarm or distress to people by harassing them is, to my mind, a moot point.

    We’ll find out soon enough, though.

  10. I am pleased Lowde has been caught – she obviously has some serious issues to address. At the end of the day I understand people’s reactions to this – if I had been cyber-stalked and libelled in this way, I am sure I would be pretty angry and want revenge as well- but I still find it a bit un-nerving the way some people have revelled in her demise. I think (in some cases and your blog is an exception) it has gone way beyond just getting justice and tipped into the realms of grinding Lowde into the dust. I hope we all agree this woman needs help rather than undue punishment.

    As far as Rachel North’s blog is concerned, maybe I am as envious as Lowde but I have always found it distasteful. She has rode on a wave of 7/7 pity to further her journalistic career and her writing is full of her neuroses. She is one of those infuriating people who goes on and on about how great her life is, which only makes us suspect the opposite. Don’t get me wrong none of this excuses Lowde’s behaviour but I can see how North was the perfect candidate to suck in Lowde’s own personality disorder. Sorry if that is harsh but I have been wanting to say this for a bit but until Lowde was caught I have felt unable to be so blunt.

  11. Neil.

    I didn’t want ‘revenge’: I simply wanted her to stop stalking me and to stop stalking people, period. I am not the only person to have been harassed by Lowde – there are dozens. I also wanted her to get help. It was clear after a while that she was ill. It was also clear that ignoring her made no difference once she had decided to harasssme for her own reasons that are to do with her illness and nothing to do with me. I was entitled to expect the stalking would end after her conviction, it was only after she absconded, escalated the attacks and moved to within 5 miles of my flat that I asked peopel who read blogs and use cyber cafes to look out for a wanted-for-immediate-arrest blogger in a cyber cafe. The campaign was hugely successful in that she was soon found, within days, as a direct result of me and the police asking for help from the public.

    Sooon as she was fuond, I asked everyone then to take the buttons down, and I deleted all my posts & updates about the find FJL campaign. I am not responsible for everyone’s reactions to FJL. I find the way some people are trying to make me responsible bizarre and unfair.

    As to whether ‘I rode a wave of pity to further my career’, actually, my income has been cut by 75% since I took redundancy and started writing. I do have to earn a living somehow, and my ‘neuroses’ (ie PTSD) made travelling on a rush hour tube too much: I decided my health and doing something I believed – writing and campaigning for a 7/7 inquiry in was more important than being a high-earner.

    I write on my blog because I am passionate about writing, because it helped me, and because others were kind enough to say they enjoyed it, a few people have said it helped them too. I am not ever going to be found apologising for deciding to spend my life doing something I find meaningful and more satisfying than advertising ever was. Some things are more important than money. I had 2 wake up calls. I decided to do this with my life. If you don;t like it, tough. What difference does it make to you?

    I urge you not to read my blog in future, because if the fact that I am much happier now infuriates you, I am afraid you are only going to get more fed up with me. The removal of someone who has made my life miserable for no apparent reason for over a year has indeed made me happy, as has the support of friends and bloggers like Unity, who helped me to understand the nature of FJL’s disorder.

  12. Rachel, sorry if I hit a raw nerve – but I feel you want to be above criticism and that is not how the internet works. Glad to hear you are now satisfied and that Lowde is out of your sights.

  13. Save us from people who ‘feel’ and therefore ‘feel’ the need to alert us all to their ‘feelings’. Particularly when they seem to ‘feel’ the need to read a blog they find ‘distasteful’.

    [still open mouthed at hearing Rachel’s story first-hand on Saturday]

  14. Two hyperlinks from the foot of the column on Times Online is the story of ‘Farmers logging on to stop illegal raves this summer’.

    Is Guido returning to his day job after all these years?

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