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An ex-ITV news anchor has revealed she “burst out crying” on the train after finding out her stalker neighbour had been convicted.

Isla Traqauir, 42, was terrorised by Jonathan Barrett, 53, for seven months after she moved into a country cottage in the Cotswolds in March last year.

The former ITV and Channel 5 anchor was left suffering from panic attacks and nightmares due to Barrett’s actions, but has said his recent conviction for stalking was a “win for victims”.

On Thursday, at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court, Barrett was convicted of stalking after the court heard he had even climbed over her garden wall to get inside her house and offer her a sandwich.

Taking to Facebook to speak about the result, Isla wrote: “This is why I’ve been very quiet. This is a win for victims of stalking (there aren’t many wins) and it’s my duty to raise awareness about the horrendous impact of stalking and the shockingly low conviction rates.

Isla Traquair was left suffering nightmares and panic attacks following the seven-month ordeal ( Solent News & Photo Agency)

“This has been one of the worst weeks of my life but it was worth it to see justice done. I found out via WhatsApp on a train and burst out crying.

“More to be said, but I’ve just been reunited with my mum and dad and I’m going to enjoy them without the gigantic weight that’s been on my shoulders since early 2021.”

Barrett’s actions left the journalist so concerned she forked out thousands of pounds to secure her home with fences and security cameras before fleeing her Corsham home.

Previously Isla, who recently worked on the Oprah Winfrey Network in the US and released a true crime podcast, told the court: “It has affected every part of my life. I can’t live in my home, I have had to stay with friends on their couches.

“I have had nightmares, it’s affected my relationships. When I was in the house, I barely went out at all because I was scared I would see him.

“I have panic attacks, I would wake in the middle of the night. Even if I saw a white van, because that’s what he drives, that would set me off. It breaks my heart I can’t live in my own home.”

Barrett shook his head as he was convicted of stalking his next door neighbour and told that his behaviour amounted to harassment and was banned from peering into her property.

Professional gardener Jonathan Barrett, pictured, will be sentenced at a later date ( Solent News & Photo Agency)
Isla Traquair said the conviction was a victory for victims of stalking ( Solent News & Photo Agency)

Magistrate Mina Searles said: “We do find you guilty. We find that you pursued a course of conduct that caused alarm and distress.

“We found Ms Traquair to be a credible witness… In terms of your evidence, we found inconsistencies which demonstrated an obsession and infatuation with [Ms Traquair] over a fairly significant period.

“Regarding the sandwich incident, you talked about Ms Traquair’s energies “flagging” by the end of the day.

“The only conclusion we can draw from this is that you were obsessed and you were watching her.

“On the standing and staring into her property over quite a lot of different times, including when the camera was installed… we find this was loitering and harassment.”

Barrett will be sentenced later this month but was handed an immediate restraining order to not contact Ms Traquair or enter or look into her property for one year.

Mrs Searles, who was chair of a two magistrate bench, added: “I can see you are shaking your head, but you must adhere to that. Any breach of a restraining order is very serious, I must warn you.”

Barrett denied stalking or harassing his neighbour, even claiming she had become ‘fixated’ on him.

When he was arrested in July he told officers Ms Traquair he had researched her online after she moved in and that she was ‘petty’ and had ‘divorced a wealthy man who runs a hire company up in Scotland’ and ‘because of her job, she knew which buttons to press with the police’.

He told the court his interest in her was not abnormal, he had not been trying to see into her home and he had simply glimpsed a photo of her naked when she had shown him her mobile phone.

He said: “I have never ever seen her naked. The only time was when she showed me her paintings on her mobile phone and there was a picture of her naked which she scrolled past.”

Barrett, who lives in a £380,000 one bed semi-detached home next to Ms Traquair’s in the village of Corsham, Wiltshire, was convicted of one charge of stalking.

Magistrates found three incidents did not happen – following her to a farm shop, watching her through her conservatory window washing at 7am, and banging on the outside of her home in September which made her flee.

Barrett will be sentenced at Salisbury Magistrates Court on August 18.

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