Stalker jailed after detectives use analytical software to map his ‘predatory behaviour’

A stalker has been jailed after detectives used analytical software to map his every move.

Feb 3, 2023
By Paul Jacques

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said it was the first time the software had been used in this type of case.

Anhar Hussain, from Dagenham, was sentenced on Friday (February 3) at Snaresbrook Crown Court to three years and nine months’ imprisonment.

The 23-year-old had pleaded guilty at the same court in November to arson, harassment, fear of violence, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified and without insurance.

Head of Public Protection for the MPS East Area Command Unit, Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, said: “The introduction of this software will undoubtedly speed up charging decisions for cases such as stalking and harassment.

“This software allows my officers to cleanse, manage big data from electronic devices and self-analyse it within seconds of inputting the information.”

He added: “The victim-survivor in this case has shown amazing strength and courage throughout her ordeal. I hope this sentence goes someway in helping her to move forward with her life.

“Hussain was bailed twice, and still he showed no regard for our justice system and continued to harass, threaten and cause distress to the victim in every possible way.”

Detectives from the East Area Basic Command Unit used the analytical software to monitor Hussain’s phone signals.

“This, in conjunction with other communications and travel data, allowed detectives to map out and detect Hussain’s stalking patterns,” said the MPS. “This data enabled officers to quickly evidence his stalking and coercive behaviour, which took place between April and June 2022.”

The force said the victim, a woman in her twenties, began a relationship with Hussain in 2020. Their relationship began to deteriorate from March 2021.

At one point, following a heated argument, he posted nude photos of her online and to her family, cropping himself out of the pictures. This sparked outrage between Hussain and the victim and her family, due to cultural and personal beliefs, said the MPS.

In April 2021, Hussain created a fake social media account in the victim’s name and started communicating with her family.

“At this time, the victim was no longer in contact with her family and only found out about this in April 2022 when she spoke with her mother,” said the MPS. “The victim was told to leave her family home following Hussain’s behaviour. She moved to an address in Romford with Hussain, where he subjected her to controlling coercive behaviour.

“During arguments, he would shout and scream into her face, punch walls near to her, throw household objects, including a laptop in her direction, pull and push her about the house and throw her onto the sofa.

“There was only one set of keys to their property, which Hussain would keep possession of at all times. He would keep her locked in the property when he went out and could also track her whenever she left the flat as there was a video doorbell which he had access to.

“On another occasion, Hussain threw the victim’s clothes out of the flat and then went outside and proceeded to set them on fire. The victim tried to retrieve them but he lifted her up and tried to force her into his car. She shouted loudly and he dropped her, enabling her to run away. She eventually moved to another address.”

From this point, the MPS said Hussain began to harass the victim by constantly calling her, “many times in a single minute”. He called her more than 700 times a day, some were overheard by a friend. During one call he threatened to throw a brick at the victim’s mother’s house. These calls were during unsociable hours so he could find out where she was residing. He called to tell her he was parked outside, he then said if she did not come out, other people would get hurt.

He also proceeded to manipulate her in an attempt to get her to return, the MPS added. He would send her photos of him crying, cleaning the house and doing the laundry to try to entice her back. When this failed he began to stalk the victim.

“It was a long ordeal for the woman, having suffered abuse of all kinds at the hands of Hussain,” said the force. “Her relationships with her friends and family were destroyed, her ability to work and financial prospects hindered. Most of all, moving on with life has proved more than difficult.

“Hussain had no regard for her safety, or other members of the public. He met her to give her belongings back after the end of their relationship, however, when her phone connected to his car Bluetooth, he heard a male on the line to her and he then lost control.

“He reversed his vehicle at speed into her vehicle several times in a public car park, writing it off in the process. He did not care if anyone was watching, all he was fixated on was harming the victim. He was, at the time of the incident, disqualified from driving.”

Between May 27, 2021, and May 24, 2022, following the victim reaching out to police, the case was allocated to Operation Atlas. Officers from the East Area Public Protection Predatory Offender Unit utilised the software to evidence 157 occasions when the suspect co-located within close proximity of the victim during his stalking.

The software also cleansed and presented the elements of harassment through calls and other digital devices used in the “sustained predatory behaviour”.

The software allowed the officers to create an illustrative story board of tables and maps which was clear to read and present in an evidential product for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) but also for any future jury, said the MPS. The overwhelming evidence that the software presented allowed the investigating team to charge Hussain.

Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Thompson, deputy lead for stalking and harassment, said, “Operation Atlas represents a step change in the Met’s response to stalking, exploring how we can respond more efficiently and avoid unnecessary delays in investigation.

“The Met is committed to investing in the tools and skills needed by frontline officers to safeguard victims and bring offenders to justice.

“In partnership with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, NHS, the Probation Service and the CPS we will continue to enhance our response.”

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