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Prolific stalker jailed after fleeing to Northern Ireland where stalking laws do not apply

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Afzal Miah. Credit: Met Police

Afzal Miah. Credit: Met Police

Afzal Miah. Credit: Met Police

A "cunning and sinister" stalker who fled to Northern Ireland, where stalking laws do not apply, has been jailed for six years.

Afzal Miah, 33, who was living in Belfast when he was arrested, tormented his targets, including a headteacher, a criminal barrister and NHS staff, by bombarding them with threatening voicemails and emails, some of which included death threats.

Miah, who frequently diverted police attention in London by making false reports about "bullies", was found guilty of seven counts of stalking and one count of breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order and a restraining order at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday, February 7. He was also handed a ten-year restraining order.

The Met Police said Miah sent numerous abusive emails to a criminal barrister who was known to him. He lodged four complaints against the barrister - all of which were not upheld.

He also made threats to kill the barrister over the phone leaving him feeling vulnerable and frightened.

He emailed a head teacher at an Enfield school about his desire to "shut it down".

The head teacher said that staff at the school were anxious and scared of the defendant and what he might do in the future.

Two NHS staff also received abusive emails and letters, as well as phone calls from Miah where he threatened to kill them.

A member of staff from the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC) also became a target after Miah first came into contact with the CCRC in 2012. Miah had made several applications for a case of his to be reviewed, after which the CCRC stated that they could no longer respond to his requests unless through a lawyer.

Nevertheless, Miah persisted in contacting the CCRC, sending abusive letters and leaving threatening voicemails.

The Met Police said the "resentful stalker" continued to send threatening letters to his victims throughout his trial.

Following a six month investigation the Met Police liaised with the PSNI to extradite Miah, who had been arrested by the PSNI.

Upon flying back to London from Belfast, Miah violently fought with Met officers, one of whom he assaulted.

Sergeant Brandman said: “Afzal Miah is an incredibly cunning and sinister individual who has taken great pleasure in making his victims feel vulnerable and frightened.

“The fact that he fled to Northern Ireland to escape his CBO and knew that there is no such offence, shows how dangerous this individual is."

Detective Constable David Tate, from the Met's Stalking Threat Assessment Centre, said: "Miah is what we would call a ‘resentful’ stalker; someone who feels as though they have been mistreated or that they are the victim of some form of injustice or humiliation and they want to exact revenge or ‘even the score’.

“In Miah’s own head, he believed that the systems had failed him and he became fixated on the ‘disservice’ he thinks that he received from some of his victims.

“Resentful stalking can arise out of a severe mental illness when the perpetrator develops paranoid beliefs about the victim and uses stalking as a way of ‘getting back’ at the victims who can be strangers or acquaintances who are seen to have mistreated them.

"Miah’s victims fall into both of these categories as some of his victims had helped and known him in the past, whilst others were healthcare professionals that had no affiliation with him.”

Northern Ireland is currently the only region of the UK which does not have specific legislation on stalking.

However, Justice Minister Naomi Long has said she will bring legislation through Stormont to combat domestic abuse.

The new laws will make coercive control, such as behaviour that amounts to "psychological, emotional or financial abuse", a criminal offence.

The Department of Justice told the Belfast Telegraph that the legislation will also make provisions to combat stalking in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph