Cyberstalker Felicity Jane Lowde has been caught by police as she sat in an Internet cafe typing away.Lowde, 41, has been on the run since April after she was convicted of harassing July 7 bombing survivor Rachel North with dozens of abusive messages on the Internet.
Lowde, from Jackson Road in Cutteslowe, Oxford, was not at court when she was convicted and continued to post messages on the web attacking Miss North, 36, and others.
Miss North, from London, survived the Piccadilly Line blast and began a web blog to campaign for an inquiry into the 2005 terrorist attack.
Shortly afterwards, Lowde began posting her messages to her, among them an accusation that she was “making a living on the backs of the dead”. She also criticised her in her own blogs.
But last night Lowde was in custody after police arrested her in a cybercafé in Brick Lane in east London.
Police have been trying to trace Lowde through her internet usage and asked the Oxford Mail for IP addresses of computers she was believed to be using to post messages on the newspaper’s website, http://www.oxfordmail.net It is understood someone began communicating with Lowde over the Internet this week, allowing officers to trace her to the cybercafe and arrest her.
Lowde is due to be sentenced by Stratford magistrates on June 28 for the harrassment charge. The maximum sentence she could face is six months in jail or a £5,000 fine.
Speaking after Lowde’s arrest, Miss North said: “I’m very relieved, because all I’ve ever wanted is for her to leave me alone. The fact that she is now in custody means tonight I can sleep safely.
“It’s great that she has finally been brought to justice after attempting to evade it for so long.”
While Miss North could not comment on the events leading up to Lowde’s arrest, she said she knew information supplied by the Oxford Mail had helped police in tracking her down.
Daniel Hart, 34, from Cowley, revealed last week that he was also subjected to 15 months of harassment after he designed graphics for Lowde’s blog.
Mr Hart has taken on a solicitor to have the offensive material removed from the Internet but the bizarre postings are still largely in place.
Mr Hart said last night: “I am extremely relieved that she is now in custody because she will not be able to continue these bizarre postings. I feel much more relaxed and I am hoping that court action will start the process of removing the offensive material from the website.”
Lowde has previously declined a request to speak to the Oxford Mail, but maintained her innocence on her blog, in which she claims to be ‘an authorised Special Branch researcher’.
Sgt Colin Brooker, of Thames Valley Police, confirmed yesterday that Lowde had been arrested on Wednesday night.
June 7, 2007
Breaking news! Rachel’s stalker caught