Still nothing. Just the same shuffling and breathing. Whoever was
there was listening to my voice, but refusing to speak.
Finally, frustration got the better of me. "Oh fine, get lost then!"
I hung up.
As I placed the phone down on the bedside table, I glanced at my
alarm clock. It read 5.45am. I shook my head angrily and snuggled
back into my duvet for another hour or so's much needed sleep before
I had to get up for work.
It felt like I had only been asleep for minutes before I was abruptly
awoken by that same high pitched ringing sound. I snatched up the
phone and answered it.
The same silence greeted me. I immediately ended the call and placed
it back on the dresser. The clock read 6.45am - exactly one hour
after the last call. I was furious. Someone out there was very sad
if they had nothing better to do than sit and time prank calls this
early in the morning.
The same thing continued to happen each morning for the next month.
At first I was angry but it wasn't until I went to visit my sick
grandpa in Ireland that the problem started to scare me a bit. Whilst
I was away, I didn't get one single call. On the day I returned,
it started again straight away.
I began to get worried by it all. If the calls had stopped while
I was away, and started again the very same day I got back, then
whoever was responsible must know exactly who I was, and worse still,
they must have been watching me. My irritation started turning to
fear. I found myself watching my back every time I left the house.
I'd peer out of the curtains at every little noise coming from outside.
Whenever I was in the house alone I would hear absolutely every
creak or bang. I was terrified that whoever it was would get into
the house. I had bouts of panic where I'd lock all the doors, close
all the curtains and turn the TV or music on really loud to make
myself feel less alone. It felt like I was going mad.
Some days I would come home and the garden gate would be open. It
looked as though furniture in the garden had been moved around.
This really freaked me out. This wasn't just a perverted caller.
I felt like I was being followed and watched.
The calls themselves had started to get worse as well. Where there
had been silence before, I could now hear heavy breathing, and sighing,
as though whoever was there was touching themselves. It became really
I decided that the time had come to report the problem to my mobile
phone service provider. I asked them if they could trace the line
he was calling from and block any further calls coming through.
The told me that unfortunately, they could only trace the last number
that dialled my phone, and that they couldn't block the calls anyway.
The only thing they could do was change my number, but unless I
reported the matter to the police I would have to pay for this.
I didn't see why I should be out of pocket because of this weird
pervert, so I decided that I would go to the police like they suggested.
An officer came round to my house and I made a statement.
They told me that the chances were it would be someone we knew.
This made me feel even worse! If the person knew me, they would
know things about me. It made it personal. They said that to have
any chance of catching the culprit, I needed to keep everything
about what had happened to myself. I couldn't tell friends or family
or people I worked with in case it scared the caller away. It was
like torture. Everyone knew there was something wrong but I couldn't
tell them what. I felt so isolated. Knowing it was probably someone
I knew made me so untrusting of everyone. I found myself analysing
every move anyone made looking for clues or suspicious actions.
I became totally paranoid. As the stress got worse, it started to
affect my relationship with Tony. We kept fighting and falling out
over trivial things, and I thought we were going to split up at
The police suggested that the best thing I could do was change my
number to stop it happening. A part of me agreed, but another part
wanted this lunatic caught, and the only way to do this was to try
and lure him into making a mistake, which would identify who he
was. It was surely only a matter of time before he slipped up.
They said that before they could trace the calls, we needed to log
a certain amount. For days we sat with a notepad and pen by the
bed, waiting for that familiar ringing sound. As soon as he called,
we would write down what time he called, and anything he said. It
was a horrible time for us, knowing exactly what was going to happen
at the same time every day. When I answered it, my hands would be
shaking, and I would feel sick at the thought of what I would hear
down the line.
Eventually, we gathered together a list of thirteen received calls,
and we took it straight to the police. This time, they took it more
seriously and said they would start investigating the problem right
They found that the calls were being made from three main numbers,
but annoyingly they could not be linked to any person as all three
lines were connected to unregistered 'Pay As You Go' mobiles.
We were so frustrated, knowing that this person would probably
be able to just keep getting away with this for as long as
he wanted. At times I just wanted to get my number changed
and bring an end to it. But at the back of my mind was the
knowledge that this idiot was probably watching me, and changing
my number would not stop that. The only thing that would stop
it was if he was caught. I knew that for this to happen I
had to persevere and hope he made a mistake.
Then suddenly, the calls stopped. Every day we anticipated
the usual 5.45am wake up call, but it didn't come. It took
a few weeks, but eventually I started to relax. Maybe this
nutter had got wind of the fact the police were onto him and
it had scared him off. Months passed with no contact, and
I began to put my ordeal to the back of my mind. Tony and
I were getting on better with all the stress lifted off us,
and life started to return to normal.
Then, in May this year, six months after the last call was
received, I was awoken from a deep sleep by the sound of ringing.
I shot upright and looked at the clock. 5.45am. Tony sat up
and we both stared at the phone.
"Here, let me answer it."
He pressed the answer button and pressed the phone to his
ear. My heart was pounding and I felt sick and was shaking
as I waited, pleading for it to be anyone but him.
A creepy voice on the other end of the line whispered, "Are
Tony began yelling a string of abuse down the line. I knew
straight away that it was all going to start again. I sat
on the bed and sobbed. I had really believed that it was over,
and that we could go back to normal, but it had all started
up again. I couldn't believe it.
We went straight to the police, and they started trying to
trace the calls again. It took ages to get the information,
because of Data Protections Act rules, and when they did get
the numbers they were linked to 'Pay As You Go' phones again.
The calls continued in their usual pattern, every day for
the next few months. Then, one night I invited all my friends
over so we could all get our hair done. Tony was going out
and I had a good girlie night in planned to take my mind off
it. All my friends came round and we had a few drinks. Tony
kept asking me if I was sure I'd be all right on my own, and
I ended up snapping at him that I would be fine. I'm a very
independent person and I hate being fussed over. I think he
realised that he was fighting a losing battle because he picked
up his car keys and left us to it after that!
He had literally been gone a couple of minutes when my mobile
rang. I grabbed it and answered it abruptly, expecting it
to be him again checking that I was still ok five minutes
after he'd last asked.
"Are you ok?" a familiar creepy voice whispered.
I stabbed at the red button, then sat down on the sofa, shaking
with fear and shock. He must be watching the house - he had
to be to know that Tony had left. This was the first call
I'd had in the evening and it freaked me out because I never
I phoned Tony straight away and told him. He was spitting
blood and said that he was coming back straight away. When
he came into the house he was shouting and screaming, threatening
to kill whoever it was. My friends were stunned. They had
no idea that there even was a caller, so seeing Tony in this
blind rage scared the life out of them all.
Everyone went home and we called the police. They promised
to trace the call right away and let me know if they found
I received a call at work a few days later. It was the police
officer who had been investigating the incident.
"Did you have any luck tracing that last call?" I asked her
"Yes, actually we did," she replied. "We've finally got a
number that is linked to a registered contract mobile. Obviously
it doesn't necessarily mean that it belongs to your caller.
He may have just helped himself to someone else's phone. But
it's a lead."
"Well who does it belong to?" I demanded, partly terrified,
partly excited at the new development and the fact that we
could be close to catching him.
"I can't actually say - its confidential information. But
I have to ask you, do you know anyone in Bordon?"
I thought about it for a few seconds, then listed a couple
of people that I knew there. When I mentioned the name of
Grahame I heard the police officer clear her throat.
"Its not Grahame is it?" I asked, not expecting in a million
years for the answer to be yes.
Grahame was an old friend of mine. I'd met him five years
before when he was going out with my friend Ellen. They got
together when Ellen left her husband, and when they had nowhere
to stay I'd put them up. Grahame and I had become quite good
friends during this time. He would pick me up from work, cook
tea for us all. Come on nights out with us. Even after he
and Ellen had split up we'd kept in touch and chatted about
our lives and what was going on over a beer from time to time.
The police officer paused on the line. "I'm not going to lie
to you. The last call came from a phone registered to someone
of that name. We can't link the rest of the calls to him,
but chances are, it's been him all along."
I burst into tears at my desk at the thought of an old friend
like Grahame making all those sick calls and tearing my life
apart like that. It just didn't make any sense. Why would
he do that? I sat all day just staring into space with my
head in my hands. Eventually my boss called me in, and told
me to go home if I couldn't leave my personal problems behind
when I came to work. I explained what had happened, and she
was more understanding, but I seriously could have lost my
job as well as my partner over all of it.
Grahame was taken in for questioning, and his details were
checked through the police computer system. They discovered
that one of the numbers I had been receiving the calls from,
had been given by Grahame to police officers months before
when reporting an incident he'd witnessed.
Grahame Place appeared in court in October 2004 and eventually,
after denying all knowledge of it from the start, pleaded
guilty to the charges. I wanted him to get his comeuppance,
but instead he was served a £75 fine and ordered to do 80
hours community service. For two years I'd been put through
hell. I nearly lost my partner and my job, I was suffering
from extreme paranoia as a result of what I'd been through,
yet that was all the punishment he got.
The only consolation we had was when we heard that Police
had searched his house in front of his then girlfriend. Friends
told me that, disgusted to find out what sort of a man he
was, she packed her bags and left him.
I'm glad to say that my life is pretty much back to normal.
I think it will be a while before I completely get over what
has happened. I'm still very edgy because of it. But Tony
and I are getting on well, and I'm settled in my job again.
I'm not a violent person, but if I ever meet that man again,
I don't know what I'd do.