Stalker pleads guilty after detectives gather evidence through analytical software
Image by Metropolitan Police
A stalker has pleaded guilty after Met detectives used analytical software to evidence his every move.
Anhar Hussain, 23, of Review Road, Dagenham pleaded guilty to arson, harassment – fear of violence, dangerous driving and driving whilst disqualified and without insurance on Monday, 21 November at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
He has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at the same court on Monday, 19 December.
Detectives from the East Area Basic Command Unit (BCU) used analytical software for the first time in this type of case, to map out phone signals from any given location. This, in conjunction with other communications and travel data, allowed detectives to map out and detect Hussain’s stalking patterns. This data enabled officers to quickly evidence his stalking and coercive behaviour which took place between April and June 2022.
The victim, a woman in her 20s 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 the victim online and to her family. He cropped himself out of the photos. This sparked outrage between Hussain and the victim and her family, due to cultural and personal beliefs.
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. 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, 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. 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. 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.
The investigating officer PC Cathleeya Kittisara, from East Area BCU, said, “The victim in this case has showed sheer courage and unwavering strength throughout the past six months. I have the utmost respect for her and appreciate the patience and the support she has given police during this protracted enquiry. She has moved from her position of loss of faith, to now attempting to move on, with her perpetrator no longer harming her. Having been bailed twice, he showed no regard for our justice system and continued to harass, threaten and cause distress to the victim in every possible way.
“It has undoubtedly been a huge challenge for her, facing turmoil in her relationships with her family, whilst all the while being tortured physically and emotionally, and in fear for her life.
“Victim care is crucial not only to domestic cases in general, but individually to each person ensuring their needs are understood and catered for. Trust was initially very hard to gain from the victim. However as she saw what we were doing and everything was explained to her step by step, she slowly revealed more of herself and began to trust in police. It has been a privilege to witness a victim of domestic abuse continue to live her life and not let past events destroy her present or dictate her future. The use of this technology was a first for me. Having the ability to present mobile phone data to the Crown Prosecution Service in a format that’s easily understood by all is a game changer.”
Between 27 May 2021 and 14 May 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 utilised in this 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 but also for any future jury. The overwhelming evidence that the software presented allowed the investigating team to charge Hussain.
Head of Public Protection for the East Area Command Unit, Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, said, “The introduction of analytical software that can cleanse and manage big data from electronic devices such as mobile phones and computers allows my officers to self-analyse within seconds of inputting it.
“Whilst it’s pivotal to equip and enable our officers with the right tools the use of this software in public protection cases such as stalking and harassment has significantly reduced the time to investigate and present cases to the Crown Prosecution Service for charging decisions. As such for me the most important element resulting from the trial so far is a better service to the victim who previously could spend significant time waiting for the investigation to conclude due to the big data that these offences create.”