Leeds mum speaks of ‘terror’ after stalker is jailed

Paul Furbank
Paul Furbank
Have your say

A woman who was systematically stalked by her jealous ex-partner for several months has told how she thought he would end up killing her.

Emma Savage, 35, has bravely spoken out after Paul Furbank was jailed for 16 months for treating her as his “prisoner”.

Leeds Crown Court heard Furbank carried out a sustained campaign of harassment after the couple separated last year.

Miss Savage, a mother of two from Swarcliffe, said: “It got to a point where me and my two daughters were all sleeping in the same room and putting things behind the door in case he came in.

“It was terrifying. On one occasion he threatened to kill me. I ended up looking over my shoulder the whole time. The impact he had on our lives is horrendous.”

The couple had been together on and off for four years before they separated in December, but remained in contact because they had a young daughter.

However, Furbank, who had been violent during their relationship, continued to make life a misery for Miss Savage.

“I would see him peeping over the fence, looking through locks. He would come to my place of work and carry on,” she said.

Leeds Crown Court heard how on December 20 he stormed into the supermarket where she works to confront a colleague for dancing with her at a staff party.

Days later he went to her home and ordered her to hand over her mobile phone before returning to her work and causing a scene.

When Miss Savage went to a solicitor’s office to get an order banning him from contacting her Furbank was outside and tried to stop her going in. He then chased the taxi she left in and managed to get to her home before she returned.

He was sitting inside for her when she walked through the door.

In fact, Miss Savage suspects Furbank had been in her home on several occasions without her knowledge, including one occasion when he put up a photograph of him that she had taken down.

She said: “It was extremely stressful. I was very nervous – to the point where I didn’t want to open my blinds in case he was there.”

The situation came to a head on January 20 when she went for an appointment at St James’s hospital and Furbank confronted her in the waiting area.

He was spotted in hospital grounds when she went back for an operation a week later.

Furbank, of North Parkway, Seacroft, continued to harass her on further occasions until he was arrested in March this year.

He pleaded guilty to harassment as well as further offences of driving while disqualified, no insurance and breaching a suspended sentence order.

Jailing 31-year-old Furbank, Recorder Kershaw said: “You persistently treated [Miss Savage] as if she was your prisoner, someone that you could manipulate at your own whim in order to get your own way.”

Miss Savage said she had been able to “relax” for the first time in months. She also urged other victims of domestic abuse to seek help.

“Speaking up is the best thing you’ll ever do,” she added.

238,000 people in Leeds ‘not getting minimum levels of exercise’