Man who stalked Hull woman for 15 years is jailed
POLICE chiefs and senior legal officials are calling for a change in the law to protect stalking victims after a man terrorised an east Hull woman for 15 years.
The Government is coming under pressure to give police increased powers to monitor dangerous offenders.
Nigel Grunnill has been locked up for plotting to murder the woman after a 15-year campaign of terror which began when the woman went on just three dates with him.
When he is released, he can only be given a restraining order to stay away from the woman. He has repeatedly breached previous restraining orders.
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Home Secretary Theresa May and the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling are being asked by the Mail to consider introducing an order allowing police and probation officers to closely monitor stalkers using powers similar to one used for sex offenders.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Leaver said: "Sometimes, people convicted of an offence of harassment find it relatively easy to continue to harass their victim once they have served their sentence.
"Offenders who have even indicated that they will continue to stalk someone are subject to few constraints on their behaviour.
"Some form of order limiting the behaviour of an offender and restricting their ability to target someone would help to significantly protect that person."
Grunnill, 37, has been given an indefinite restraining order to stay away from Claire Gray but has breached it six times already.
In 2005, he was jailed for six years for threatening to kill her and trying to hire a hitman.
Barrister Paul Genney said: "It seems crazy that a man can be placed on the sex offenders register for touching a woman's bottom in a bar but a stalker who has plotted to murder his victim cannot be as closely monitored.
"This order would help to protect victims of stalkers and is something the Government needs to seriously consider."
A dedicated order for stalkers would force them to register their address, their car registration, ban them from accessing the internet or specific sites and enable the police to frequently visit them.
Grunnill pleaded guilty at Hull Crown Court to two counts of making threats to kill and was sentenced to a hospital order last week.
Just weeks before he was due to be released from jail for threatening to kill his victim, Grunnill, formerly of Queens Road, west Hull, made repeated threats to kill her again to three probation officers.
Grunnill told them: "Murder changes everything and will happen in time. I guarantee that will happen – just a case of when.
"I'm one of the top, most dangerous people in Humberside. Nothing will stop me. I don't dwell on things, other than Claire. If I found her family were in prison, I would break into the prison to get to them. The only thing that stopped me achieving my goal last time was that I didn't have a firearm."
He told them he had made a "deal with the devil" to kill her.
Grunnill said: "I want revenge. I will do things differently. Old Nigel made decisions that led him to prison, new Nigel is worse.
"I could quite easily go round, break down the door and kill that woman. She could be with three kids in the car and I would harm her.
"Once you make a deal with the devil, you can never go back."
Grunnill first met his victim in a nightclub in the city and they went on three dates in 1997. Grunnill became obsessed with her and began stalking her at her home in Sutton.
He followed her every move, sat outside her home and left stones in her driveway so she knew he had been there.
Grunnill even turned up when she went for a job interview in a remote area miles from Hull.
Detective Constable Adrian Adamson said: "Grunnill is one of the most dangerous individuals we have ever dealt with and has been a thorn in the side of the victim and her family for several years.
"His actions and threats have changed the lives of the victim and those close to her."