Alison Hewitt knows what it is like to live in fear for her life, and for the lives of her family.
Because after she met handsome Canadian Al Amin Dhalla and let him into her life, a hellish nightmare unfolded which changed her family forever.
After months of lies and manipulation the saga ended in the maniac trying to burn down Wing Police Station, and her parents home in Aston Abbotts in 2012.
Police found knives and a crossbow in his car, with Alison’s mother Pam and stepfather David’s address programmed into his sat nav.
Controlling Dhalla even hired a hitman while in prison to target the family, who were recently awarded £130,000 in compensation after the Home Office admitted failings in allowing the convicted criminal into the country, and failing to act on warnings about his behaviour.
After the trauma Alison, who grew up in Aston Abbotts, has managed to move on with her life, and has continued to build her career in medicine.
She has now written a book about her experiences, which she hopes will help others understand how stalkers work.
She said: “It’s such a crazy story, I am just glad I am still here to tell it.
“I’ve dedicated the book to other victims of stalking and their families, in the hope it might aid someone else in recognising the signs.”
And Alison says that although it was hard to confront what happened to her, writing the book has helped her come to terms with what happened.
She said: “In terms of being cathartic I’d say writing the book was about half and half, it did drag some things up and I was forced to go over things that I had buried.
“It was quite difficult and emotional, but I’m really glad that I did it.”
She added: “There were two reasons that I wanted to do the book. One was when I told people my story they couldn’t believe it. And the second is when I started giving training sessions on the new stalking laws, the people from the probation service and domestic violence teams said that telling people about my experience could really help others, as I made the same mistakes that lots of people make.
“So when the book offer came in I thought I would give it a go.”
And first time writer Alison, said that despite receiving the Home Office compensation, and starting a new ‘more successful relationship’ Alison says that it is writing the book that has helped her lay many of her demons to rest.
She said: “I wrote the book quite quickly, but it was exhausting putting that emotional and mental energy into it, sometimes it was like going through it all over again.
“But now that it is over I’m quite happy doing my medical work and I’m looking forward to life being a bit more mellow now after everything that has happened.”
The book, entitled Stalked was released this week published by Pan Macmillan and priced £7.99.