Sheffield woman’s important safety message after ‘stalker’ followed her home from cinema

A Sheffield woman has urged caution after claiming she was stalked late at night in a “horrible” encounter.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 8:20 pm
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 1:19 pm

Abigail Ridgway was heading home from an evening at the cinema at around 9pm on Sunday when she says a hooded man in dark blue clothes began following her.

The 34-year-old, who works in insurance, had decided to walk the last part of her journey back rather than wait more than one hour for the next bus. As she headed up Lound Side, Chapeltown towards her house in High Green, she spotted a man coming from Mafeking Place. He crossed the road and entered St John’s Church yard under the cover of darkness.

Abigail then started to hear him whistling at her as she made her way up the “deserted” street in the direction of Lound Academy, picking up her pace.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Lound Side with Mafeking Place (right) and St John's Church (left).

Further up the road the man reappeared into sight over the brow of the hill heading in her direction and getting closer.

At this point Alison phoned the police, who stayed on the line with her until she reached her house. Rather than reveal her address, she stood outside the front gate and saw the man cross the road and run away.

“I’m still in shock. I’ve never felt like this.” she told The Star.

“Everywhere I go I think I’m seeing him, I’m paranoid. I’ve never felt like this.”

Alison does not have an accurate description of the man, but said he was white with “gaunt features”.

She posted about her encounter on a local forum to warn others and received replies from several people citing similar experiences in Chapeltown and High Green.

In total, Alison said she has heard around 10 similar stories to hers. She has also informed Lound Academy of what happened.

“I just want to spread awareness and let others know to try and keep people safe,” she added.

“My main worry is when he gets his target what he’s going to do to them? It’s better safe than sorry.”

Alison has now purchased a personal alarm and is considering taking self-defence classes in case of a repeat.

South Yorkshire Police confirmed they attended the scene following the woman's report but found "nothing suspicious".