Louise Minchin has said that victims of online abuse are not alone or powerless as she revealed that it was “really blood cold” for her and her family to be bullied by a stalker last year.
Mrs Minchin said she loved speaking about the experience to help other victims cope.
“The reason I’m choosing to do this is to send a clear message to anyone who has been the victim of this type of abuse that they are not alone, they are not powerless, and that the identity of the troll sending the violent threatening message. He may be arrested, may be caught and sent to jail,” she told The Daily Telegraph.
In December, 44-year-old former soldier Carl Davis was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for the harassment of Mrs. Minchin and her family. Mr Davis threatened both Mrs Minchin and her teenage daughter Mia’s social media accounts in July 2020.
The messages included graphic threats and information that showed Mr Davis knew where the family lived and had visited the location.
“I am very careful about my personal life. I never say where I live, very rarely post pictures of girls or say anything that is beyond recognition in interviews or on air,” Mrs. Minchin told the newspaper.
Suddenly, here was this stranger who knew things you could never find just by google me. The details he had about where I live were cool, he could only know them if he was standing right outside my house. ,
Mrs. Minchin and her family were on leave when the message was received. She said that her daughter Mia “didn’t want to go home” and once they returned the family felt like a prisoner in their own home for weeks.
The police investigation lasted nine months before Mr Davis was charged.
Mrs Minchin also said she was “crime-ridden” and “disgusted that my profile meant Mia had to go through all this”. She said she was considering quitting her job at BBC Breakfast, but her daughters told her “don’t let her win”.
“It’s thanks to them that I just didn’t leave that week,” she told the paper.
Mrs Minchin said that “if anything good” could come from experience it was “a clear message that criminals do not always remain anonymous; they can be prosecuted.”
“Mia and I both need help to deal with this and we are doing much better now, although it has made a mark,” she said.
In a statement after the court proceedings, Lewis said: “Today’s sentence is that of a man who made horrific threats online against my daughter and I, which is a very disturbing time for both of us.
“I would like to thank the North Wales Police and The Crown Prosecution Service for their hard work and the successful investigation and prosecution of the case.
Carl Davis was also given an indefinite restraining order (Eleanor Barlow/PA)
“I hope this sends a clear message that people who make violent threats on social media can be found, prosecuted and can expect a prison sentence.”
The Mold Crown Court heard how, in a message to Louise Minchin, he wrote: “Move or you’re f****d”, while in another he said: “Your daughter will definitely be raped”, followed by his The address of the house, the village they lived in, and the cars that were on their way at the time.
Commenting on a photo of Lewis, he said: “You can see his garden from there”, pretending he knew they lived, the court heard.
I’m a Celebrity 2021 contestant – who left BBC Breakfast in September after 20 years – and her daughter said the chase had a “terrible, devastating and lasting effect” and was still “painful” from the “tragic” experience. The judge was told that he had been suffering from a “sense of deep distress” for more than a year.
Prosecutor Brian Treadwell said: “The family doesn’t feel safe and probably never will.”
Sentencing, his Honor Judge Nicola Saffman sentenced Davis to two years and eight months in prison and an indefinite restraining order.
She said: “Obviously they must have been terrified of it, especially because it’s obvious you knew where they lived and knew the details of the cars that were on their drive.
“As a result they are both now hyper-vigilant, they still have a sense of deep distress even after a year and the family still doesn’t feel safe.”
Davis, of Flint, North Wales, was previously convicted of stalking another woman in 2017 and biting his father’s arm in 2019, the court heard.
He was due to face trial at Caernarfon Crown Court for two counts of stalking the presenter and his daughter, but changed his pleas to guilty before the jury was sworn in.
Duncan Bold, who reduced to Davis, said he sustained PTSD while serving with the armed forces in Iraq.
He said Davis, who attended court with his father, had never been treated for the condition—partially diagnosed in 2017 but only during a psychiatric examination to aid in sentencing. The situation was fully recognized.
Judge Saifman said he took Davis’s PTSD into account when sentencing and told probation officers that upon his release he should be offered treatment options.