York & North Yorkshire

Kenneth Ward case: Woman may move house to escape stalker 'hell'

Mandy Dunford
Image caption Mandy Dunford said she felt like a "sitting duck" due to the "farcical" terms of a sexual offences prevention order

A woman whose life was made a "total hell" by a stalker has said she is considering moving house after he is released from prison.

Kenneth Ward was jailed for five years in 2011 after admitting exposure, harassment and firearms offences.

Mandy Dunford, of Chop Gate, has been told by police he will be freed in June and could still approach her farm.

North Yorkshire Police said it constantly reviewed the risks posed by registered sex offenders.

Teesside Crown Court was told how Ward repeatedly exposed himself over a period of seven years.

In one episode, he had walked naked on to his victim's property and committed a sex act while watching her through binoculars, the court heard.

And when police went to the military memorabilia collector's home to investigate, they found grenades, machine guns, bayonets and ammunition.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Kenneth Ward was jailed for five years in 2011

Describing her ordeal, Ms Dunford, a retired police worker, said: "After years of suffering, a friend hid in my house and we gathered lots of evidence.

"It was relentless, until the first light of day until night, [he was] waiting in the bushes outside my house."

Ward previously rented a cottage about 175m (574ft) away from Ms Dunford's smallholding.

He remains subject to a sexual offences prevention order, but Ms Dunford said it features a "farcical" exclusion zone meaning he could "stand metres outside my door".

She was offered £5,000 by North Yorkshire Police to improve security at her home, but said making her home like "Fort Knox" would not make a difference.

'Fighting for so long'

She is now considering selling up and leaving the area, after a previous attempt to find a buyer for her home failed.

She said: "I obviously didn't want to sell, but your safety and quality of life is far more important.

"I did leave my home at one point and was trying to sell it, but I found everybody knew about him."

Ms Dunford added: "I don't hold out hope that the order will get changed, because I've been fighting for so long."

North Yorkshire Police said: "The risks posed by registered sex offenders in the community are constantly reviewed and any changes in the risk the offender poses to the public can result in the sexual offences prevention order being varied."

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