What I like about the majority of Channel 4’s documentaries is that they often present stories that are stranger than fiction with an example from earlier in the year being the fascinating The Girl who Became Three Boys. Living with My Stalker tells a similar tale that is almost too far-fetched to be real but for those involved it was a traumatic event that will impact on them for the rest of their lives. The documentary started by introducing us to the sleepy Buckinghamshire village of Aston Abbots which had been home to the Hewitt family for years with mum Pam now living there with her new partner David. Pam’s daughter Alison meanwhile was a busy junior doctor in a hotel in Brighton though she found herself feeling lonely and looking for love so she joined a dating agency for busy professional people however she didn’t know at the time that that action would change her life forever.
Through the agency she met Al Amin Dhalla a charming Canadian businessman who presented himself well though the dating agency boss had had feedback from other women that he’d been a little bit full on. Alison though grew very fond of Al describing him as a genuine guy and saying that she wanted more of him in her life. Alison first introduced Al to the rest of her family at her mother’s wedding to David however Pam grew suspicious of his claims of being an orphan after he described the car crash his parents had been in without any emotional detail. Pam’s suspicions grew when her son advised her to check Al’s credentials online and she discovered a website that he’d set up which he’d described as his ‘memoirs and legacy’. On this site were photos of him with many different women as well as pictures of him painting him as some sort of macho man and on the basis of this Pam was sufficiently worried enough to contact a private detective. At the same time Al’s relationship with Alison was moving fairly quickly as he’d moved in without telling her first and later proposed while they were on holiday together in Greece however he began to get angry when she told him she wasn’t ready for marriage yet.
Meanwhile Pam’s detective was coming up short and asked her for some of Al’s official identification so when she and David invited the couple on a weekend in Spain the pair conspired to find information on his passport. It transpired that Al had lied about his age, how long he’d been in the UK and most importantly that he wasn’t an orphan however after discovering that his passport had been moved he threw a hissy fit like a petulant child. Back in the UK Al tried to cover his tracks by telling Alison that his parents had been through a bitter divorce and that’s why he made up the orphan story however she realised she couldn’t trust him so wanted the relationship to end. This was easier said than done however as Alison’s attempt to get Al to move out weren’t successful while at the same time Pam found out more about Al’s violent past including the fact that he’d done prison time. Eventually David travelled to Alison’s house and told Al that either he moved out or he’d get the police to come and forcibly eject him from the property though Al eventually went this wasn’t the last they heard of him by a long shot.
The first signs of Al’s revenge attack came when he posted notes around Aston Abbots accusing the Hewitts of various misdemeanours while Alison’s co-workers at the hospital also received information that she had been stealing and dealing drugs. The Hewitts also believed that Al had moved away however little did they know that he’d rented a property about 200 yards away from Alison while he also hired a private detective of his own to find out if she’d got another man in her life. When the family found out where Al was living they had him arrested for harassment though he didn’t stay locked up very long and the next time he was spotted the police saw him practising shooting a crossbow in a field. As all of his weapons were legal there wasn’t much they could charge him for though the officer in charge of the case was scared for the Hewitts when he found a GPS device in Al’s van with all the programme destinations related to the Hewitt family. Al’s biggest revenge tactic was setting fire to Pam and David’s cottage essentially wanting to burn them alive however luckily they were staying on the island of Lundy at the time so got away unharmed. The police eventually stepped up their protection of the Hewitts by airlifting Pam and David from Lundy and placing them in a hotel along with Alison and her brother. They then attempted to ensnare Al by having Alison send a fake e-mail claiming that she’d be at the hospital leading him to dress up as a doctor and try to abduct her. Obviously the police caught up with him and he was arrested however once again he wasn’t finished with. It later transpired that while in prison he’d arranged a hit on one of the ladies involved in the case, probably Alison, as he now wanted her dead presumably having the attitude that if he can’t have her nobody will.
Living with My Stalker was a fascinating story and a well-produced documentary which engrossed me from beginning to end thanks to its interviews with all the relevant parties. I really felt for all of the Hewitt family who had to go through such trauma just because of a jilted lover and will in fact have to live the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders. The final few minutes revealed that both Pam and Alison were thinking of changing their identities and moving away so they couldn’t be found by Al when he got out of prison an event that could be less than four years away. To me it’s just shocking that his violent personality wasn’t bought to light before and I’m a little concerned that the dating agency didn’t relay the feedback of the other women who gone out with Al to Alison. At the end of the day this was a story of a woman who did nothing wrong other than look for love and it’s basically cost her her freedom so in a way this was a cautionary tale about being careful who you let into to your life and what skeletons they may hide in their closet.
Did you watch Living with My Stalker? What did you think to this fascinating tale? Leave Your Comments Below.