Belfast Telegraph

My torment, by ex-girlfriend of struck-off stalker dentist

By Catherine Lynagh

When Diane Rea broke up with her boyfriend of three years she had no idea of the torment she was to face at the hands of a seemingly mild mannered dentist.

Dentist Alan Beck, who sent former lover Diane Rea unwanted text messages and greetings cards after their relationship broke down, has been struck off mark larner

Ms Rea, a nurse from Donaghadee, met Alan Beck, a dentist from Dundonald, in an online chatroom in May 2006 and started a relationship.

But when she ended the relationship in March 2009 it began a sinister pattern of behaviour which culminated in Beck being given a suspended jail sentence and struck off as a dentist.

Two days after finishing with Beck, Ms Rea was forced to call the police after he began pestering her.

His behaviour worsened to stalking and harassment in the form of text messages and unwanted greeting cards.

For over six months Ms Rea’s life was turned upside down to the point were she felt unsafe in her own home.

Becks’ behaviour became so intense that the Donaghadee nurse was granted a non-molestation order, banning him from within 50 metres of her house.

In September of last year the Dundonald dentist was caught breaching the order.

At 12.30am one morning Ms Rea found him crouched in her driveway behind her car, wearing a balaclava.

Beck was spotted running away by a neighbour, who gave chase.

He was eventually caught and spent the night in jail. Beck was found guilty of breaching the court order and harassment, receiving a three-month jail sentence suspended for two years.

Yesterday he was struck off as a dentist after a hearing by the General Dental Council found his behaviour unprofessional.

Sitting in the house where she was stalked and harassed, Ms Rea, was yesterday resilient rather than angry about her six months of torment.

“I never thought this would happen to me, I never thought I would be in this position,” she told the Belfast Telegraph.

She continued: “I have very mixed feelings, I am relieved it is all over, but I do feel sorry for Mr Beck. Don’t ask me why, but I do.

“It’s very hard to explain, but I suppose I can’t understand why he went as far as he did.

Living alone in a quiet Donaghadee street, Ms Rea felt very vulnerable during her ordeal.

She only slept with the aid of sleeping pills and had a personal alarm beside her bed.

“I was scared. The police had advised me to get security cameras and lights fitted, so I did all of that. All at my own cost.

“It provided peace of mind to a point, but I never really had total peace of mind.

“I tried not to let the situation affect my personal life. But there was period after I found him at the front of my house that I was off work. But then I thought, ‘no’, I have to go back to work and live a normal life.”

As a result of her experience Ms Rea feels the legal system fails victims of harassment.

“Yes the system fails people like me,” she said.

“The thing that has come out of this which I do feel very strongly about is that if you can afford a non-molestation order, you can get it. But, if you are not entitled to legal aid, which I wasn’t, there is a considerable cost involved. It cost me £500.

“I feel I shouldn’t have had to pay for it, because I feel like I was paying for my own protection.”

She added: “Mr Beck had been cautioned for harassment and the police then advised me that they were limited as to what they could do under a harassment caution.

“They advised me to get a full non-molestation order, which could only be got with the help of a solicitor.

“So that is what I did. I was told I wasn’t entitled to legal aid because I earn over the threshold for that.

“I went to court with my solicitor and got an emergency non-molestation order put in place very quickly, for maybe a week.

“Then there was a court hearing for the full non molestation order. I then got a bill for £500.”

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