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Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Blogger Story of the Year?

First Rachel was raped. Then she was a passenger on one of the London Tube trains that was blown up on 7/7/05. And after that, she was stalked by a cyber-kook. And then the London blogging community came together to catch the stalker.

The first two parts of the story are here. Here's a firsthand account from Rachel of her experience on the subway on 7/7. As you can see, she shows real courage:

I'm not going in today, because need to rest up, but I bloody well am getting on the tube on Monday. And yes, I probably will feel scared and I probably will remember the bomb, but as I said to someone yesterday, when we were on the train stuck underground, coughing, 'well, we've now established that we can survive a tube bomb, so sod it, yes, I am going to travel again'.

I don't see what else to do really. Today, lots of people on the tube will be worrying about what if and whether they'd cope, and I 'll know I did cope, we all coped, which is kind of empowering really. I'm scared but I'm angry, so I'm using the anger to get through it. We all need to go to work. Life goes on.

And then the harassment began. Felicity Jane Lowde began a campaign of stalking Rachel (and others). Eventually she was arrested and was scheduled for trial. But Lowde did not show up for her trial, and apparently was on the lam in London. However, she continued her campaign of harassment, apparently using Cyber-Cafes to make her posts. So the London blogging community put out a call for people to look for her, and attempt to track her down, which finally happened late last week.

"Following tip-offs from members of the public who were aware of the Find the Stalker blogger campaign, Felicity Jane Lowde was arrested in a cyber-café in Brick Lane on 6 June and taken into police custody overnight," said North on her blog.

"For me, I don't feel like dancing. I am just thankful this is over (or almost over, as I am sure Lowde will appeal her conviction, and her sentence too, when she is sentenced)."

Lowde was refused bail and will be remanded in custody until 28 June pending psychiatric and pre-sentence reports.

The woman faces a maximum jail sentence of six months or a fine of up to £5,000.

Kudos to Rachel, who's now a survivor three times over.

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