Newcastle University stalker's return prompts petition


Jefferson Young

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Jefferson Young was given a two-year restraining order

More than 1,000 students have signed a petition demanding Newcastle University ban anyone convicted of stalking.

It comes after a man given a two-year restraining order was allowed to start a new course without the woman he stalked being informed.

Jefferson Young had already been allowed to stay and finish his degree.

His former girlfriend was not expecting him to come back and was scared, she said. The university said it could not comment on individual cases.

Amy, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, said she was “always on edge” on campus in case she bumped into Young.

‘Ruined everything’

Magistrates ordered Young not to contact Amy in October 2018 after he admitted stalking and revenge porn offences.

She said he had become aggressive and violent, bombarding her with abusive emails and voicemails.

Amy said she believed he would be leaving after graduating this summer, but discovered he had returned as a postgraduate student.

The university would not confirm this, she said.

“They basically said it’s none of my business, it’s not down to me to know,” she said.

“I was just so excited for this year, to come back to uni and not be scared to see him, to be able to go out with my friends, to be able to enjoy my course.

“I was so excited and it just ruined everything.

“I’m more scared this year than I was last year. My restraining order finishes in October 2020.”

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The vice chancellor has told students’ union officers he was sorry “if this email gave the impression that I was not taking these matters extremely seriously”

Amy complained to the university and, during email correspondence, Vice Chancellor Chris Day accidentally copied in her father in a reply to staff, The Tab student online newspaper revealed.

It referred to the “rape chat” scandal at Warwick University and showed concern for the university’s “precarious reputation”.

A university spokesperson said it took “every allegation of sexual misconduct very seriously” and took “appropriate action” as soon as possible.

“By law we cannot comment on individual cases or disclose any measures the university has taken in regards to them,” they said.

The vice chancellor had agreed to launch a review of student complaints and disciplinary procedures, the spokesperson added.

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