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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Can I let you know a secret? Episode six: the winding clock | Society

On this new six-episode podcast, Guardian journalist Sirin Kale investigates the story of Matthew Hardy, a cyberstalker who terrified individuals in his hometown and past for over a decade.

His harassment would usually begin in the identical manner, with a faux profile posing as a younger lady asking a easy query: “Hey hun, can I let you know a secret?”

Over this sequence, we’ve adopted the impression of Matthew Hardy by way of 10 years of his stalking – a decade that culminated in what’s believed by police to be the longest sentence handed out to a cyberstalker in a UK court docket. However Matthew being behind bars just isn’t the tip of this story.

Within the closing episode, Sirin talks to Jill Greenwood, a lady with a singular perspective of Matthew. She is a sufferer of his cyberstalking, however she’s additionally a probation officer. She tells Sirin why understanding Matthew’s motivation for his actions is vital to breaking the cycle of offending.

We additionally hear from Clare Hughes, the legal justice coordinator on the Nationwide Autistic Society, who discusses what the expertise of jail could be like for autistic individuals and the way successfully the establishments are set as much as assist autistic prisoners rehabilitate.

Matthew just isn’t the one individual doing time. His victims really feel they’re in a jail too. Dr Emma Brief, an affiliate professor in psychology at De Montfort College, and an professional in cyberstalking and trauma, tells Sirin concerning the long-term impression stalking can have on victims’ lives.

Sirin hears how Abby Furness, Lia Hambly and Amy Bailey have coped since being stalked by Matthew. “You simply really feel so alone,” Amy tells Sirin. “Individuals don’t perceive what it does to you till it really occurs to them.”

Since making this podcast, Matthew has been granted permission to enchantment in opposition to his sentence.

  • Subscribe to Can I Inform You a Secret? on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts
  • In case you want any help round stalking and harassment, you will get in contact with the Suzy Lamplugh Belief or name the Nationwide Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300
  • We’d wish to thank the Nationwide Autistic Society and Autism Rights Group Highland for his or her assist and recommendation on this sequence



Can I Tell You A Secret?

{Photograph}: Design/The Guardian

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