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Home Canterbury News Article
The victim of a stalker has revealed she had nightmares he would rape or even murder her.
Afua Boakye-Ansah was speaking after David Ward was locked up for four years for his obsession with the 23-year-old former University of Kent student.
It is the third time the 54-year-old loner, from Hernhill, has been jailed for his repeated stalking of Afua, whose life was made a misery by him for two years.
The ordeal damaged her studies, ruined her relationship and cost her a job she loved.
It was a torrid and painful time for church-going Afua, who chose to come to Canterbury because she is a Christian and was drawn to the Cathedral city on the recommendation of friends.
She said: “For a year it was great. I enjoyed city life and I was really focused on my studies, which were going well.
“I also got a job as an accounts clerk at Fenwick, which I was so excited about.
“But on the first day I walked into work I noticed David Ward sitting on a bench in the Dane John Gardens.
“I’m always aware of my surroundings and usually very nice to people but don’t think I even smiled at him.
“He was just a man sat there. But straight after I kept seeing him around the bus station outside where I worked and assumed he just worked around there, too.
“But I then realised that, when I came out of work, he was always there and then one day he walked towards me aggressively and said that I had been cheating on him because he saw me with this and that guy.
“His face was so red. He looked like a pervert from that minute.
“I was speechless. I thought ‘you have a lot of nerve – who are you?’
“Then friends began telling me how he was always around waiting for me and I should be careful and call the police. That’s when I broke down and started to panic.
“My manager gave me some time to go to the police station and I reported it and the police went to the bus station and arrested him.”
Unfortunately, Ward was not deterred by his arrest and police warnings and almost immediately began stalking Afua again.
She said: “He was taken to court and given a restraining order but immediately broke it.
“As soon as I got home, there he was again. The more he kept showing up, the more scared I was getting.
“He didn’t seem worried about the law and then I began reading about other cases where horrible things had happened.
“I just couldn’t understand how he felt he had the right to stalk me.
“I used to shout at him to go away but he was telling my friends we were together and he was in love with me.
“His stalking me had taken over my life. He was showing up at my uni on the few times I went out in the evening, he would just appear. And when he wasn’t following me, he was following my mates.
“He kept being arrested and going to court but I couldn’t go any more because I couldn’t stand looking at his face. It just kept going on and on.”
Ward was jailed for 33 months in 2012 but shortly after he was released on licence he started following the student again.
The stress and being away from lectures caused Afua to fail her third year because she was too frightened to leave the house.
She said: “The uni let me resit it but, on the day of my exam, there was Ward outside again waiting for me and I couldn’t leave.
“I was so angry. I told him he was scaring me and begged him to leave me alone, but he just said ‘no’.
“He told me ‘you’re just a kid, you wouldn’t understand’.
“He was so into my life, he seemed to know where I would be at any minute and I just couldn’t live with that.
“I couldn’t tell my parents at first because I didn’t want to worry them. But eventually I was on the phone crying to them.
“I couldn’t go to sleep because I was having horrible dreams I had never had before.
“In my dreams he had killed everyone around me and was coming for me to rape and kill me.
“I lost my job at Fenwick because of my attendance record because I was calling in sick and now I’m just working as a sales assistant.
“I have lost a lot and have to start all over again.
“In my personal life, I split from my boyfriend, who helped me so much, and stopped talking to my friends because I didn’t want them to be involved.”
Afua says the ordeal also left her needing counselling and medication.
“Thankfully he is locked away now and I can try and get on with my life and maybe even find some closure" - Afua Boakye-Ansah
She said: “I’m trying to turn my life around again. I tried going home to Dagenham but I couldn’t find a job so decided to come back to Canterbury where I could work and support myself.
“I’m living with friends and working as a sales assistant and hope to further my career.”
Ward was jailed for four years last month for breaching his restraining order again.
Afua said: “He has ruined my life enough and I have to put it behind me and move on and try to get where I want to be.
“But I’ll never stop looking around me. That’s what Ward has done.
“Thankfully he is locked away now and I can try and get on with my life and maybe even find some closure.
“When Ward comes out, he will ignore court orders like he has always done.
“But I’ll be ready and stronger to face him and I’m going to fight it with everything I’ve got.”
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