I felt like a prisoner in my own home in stalking horror but I vowed to be strong for my girls, Louise Minchin reveals

LOUISE Minchin has revealed the hell endured by her family after she was targeted by a vile troll.

The ex-BBC Breakfast star said she, her husband, and her two teenage daughters "felt like we were prisoners in her our own home" after being targeted by a creep online.

Stalker Carl Davies, 44, bombarded Lousie, 53, with abusive messages on Instagram – leaving the I'm a Celebrity star in a "constant state of anxiety".

The ex-soldier also targeted Louise's 19-year-old daughter, Mia – who handled her mum's Instagram and read many of the awful messages – during the campaign of harassment in two years ago.

Speaking to The Telegraph, the presenter revealed how she and Mia were flooded with evil messages on Instagram overnight while on holiday in July 2020.

Davies – who Louise didn't name in her interview with the broadsheet – was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison after admitting causing alarm or distress in July 2020.

The 53-year-old said thinking back to Davies' threats, and the fact that he "knows exactly where you live, has stood outside your house and taken note of the cars that are parked in your drive" was "blood-chilling".

She said: "Having to endure horrendous online abuse is bad enough, but when that online abuse turns into a physical threat, and not just to you but also to your teenage daughter, it is terrifying."

But the mum-of-two explained she found the strength to speak out against the evil and find justice to protect her girls.

She added: "It is hard to talk about what happened and not something that I do lightly.

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"The reason that I am choosing to do so is to send a clear message to anyone who has been a victim of similar abuse that they are not alone, they are not powerless and that those trolls who send violent, threatening messages can be identified, can be caught and can be sent to prison."

Davies bombarded the mum and daughter with increasingly horrible messages, which included chilling details of her home that Louise says he could only have known if he was stood right outside her house.

He also told her: "I know where you live", and: "I'm coming after you".

The 44-year-old creep also threatened to rape Mia, with other messages so graphic that she will not let her husband see them as "no one should have to read those words".

Davies then "went underground", Louise said – but she still contacted her employer, the BBC, straight away – with bosses then contacting police.

She explained how throughout the "painstaking" nine-month investigation the 53-year-old was a ball of nerves.

Louise said: "I was in this state of high alert – functioning, but looking over my shoulder constantly."

STALKING HELL

She even considered quitting her role on breakfast TV – but was persuaded not to by her daughters, who pleaded with her not to let Davies' vile actions interfere with her career.

Louise subsequently quit the role in September 2021 – but so she could finally get a lie in after two decades of setting her alarm at 3.40am.

The 53-year-old revealed one of the most difficult parts of the process was giving a victim impact statement, where she had to revisit the horror and read out the vile messages -that she had desperately tried to wipe from her memory – to cops.

The trial was in October last year, with Louise admitting she is haunted by Davies' face – but is pleased to know what the spineless stranger hiding behind a screen finally looks like.

She said: "If anything good can come out of what we have been through it's the clear message that perpetrators don't always stay anonymous – they can be prosecuted."

Louise's stalker was also handed a lifetime restraining order in 2019 for threatening to stab and burn his ex-girlfriend, Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts.

He set up 35 fake social media accounts to send thousands of Twitter and Instagram messages to the pop star before targeting Louise 11 months later.

Anyone affected by this article can ring the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 or visit https://www.suzylamplugh.org/

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