Woman stalked by neighbour who got her phone number from parcel

·4-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

A 23-year-old student has started a petition asking delivery companies to remove personal phone numbers from packages after being stalked by her neighbour, who sent her "inappropriate" messages using the contact details he'd seen on one of her parcels.

Speaking out about the ordeal in her petition, trainee nurse Eleanor Maddison explained how she had ordered some university supplies for her course but wasn't at home to receive the delivery. Instead her neighbour, 46-year-old Jehad Khan, signed for the item and used the phone number that was displayed on the parcel to let her know it was at his address.

After picking up the package when she returned home, Eleanor recalled how Khan continued to contact her on her phone "despite having no reason to do so." According to the student, his messages "quickly became inappropriate" and soon she was "receiving unwarranted sexualised photographs."

"Over the following few days, he began asking me to come to his house to have sex with him which he would pay me for," she says, "Of course, I declined and informed him I would contact the police if he carried on."

Living so close to Khan and being inundated with unsolicited messages from him, Eleanor revealed she became concerned for her safety and felt uncomfortable being at home. "I felt like I couldn’t escape him from contacting me. He started to lick his windows whenever I would leave my house and on occasions I would find him staring into my house, I became increasingly worried to the point I didn't even open the blinds in my house because I didn't want him seeing me," she explained.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Soon enough the harassment became so bad that Eleanor reported Khan's behaviour to the police. They informed the student they were aware of Khan, who'd been reported for something similar in the past. Khan was later arrested, handed a restraining order and taken to court where he was released on bail. However, Eleanor claims this still didn't stop him from contacting her, resulting in her being forced to move out of her student home into alternative accommodation away from Khan.

According to Eleanor, Khan has since been handed a 12-month community order and a further 12-month restraining order, but she says more needs to be done to prevent cases like this happening again in the future. "I wouldn’t have gone through all this if my number was not printed on my parcel in the first place," she points out. "How many times have your parcels been delivered to neighbours?"

DPD, who Eleanor’s package was shipped by, say that they don’t include or require mobile numbers to be on labels. "We are very sorry to hear about Eleanor’s experience and wish to extend our sincere apologies. DPD does not require mobile numbers to be on labels. We send automated notifications via the DPD app, email or mobile number to advise recipients on exactly when their parcel will arrive and how they can manage their delivery," a spokesperson for the delivery company told Cosmopolitan UK.

On the topic of what they were doing to prevent something similar happening in the future, the spokesperson added: "We are aware of a small number of shippers that have included numbers on their labels and we continue to work with them to make sure they aren’t used in this way."

Speaking about what she hopes to achieve through her petition, trainee nurse Eleanor said: "I do not want anybody else to have to go through what I did, this has affected my studies, mental health and I have spent a lot of money moving house to protect myself when it all could have been avoided. I am aware not all neighbours are like him, but you just never know."

You can sign Eleanor's petition here.

If you've been affected by stalking, contact the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300. The helpline is open from 9:30am to 4pm every weekday except Wednesdays, when it is open from 9:30am to 8pm. Alternatively, for online advice and support, head here.

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