Stalker sends terrified grandmother up to 30 takeaways a night
EXCLUSIVE: Terrified grandmother, 58, is barricaded in her own home by sick stalker who has sent her up to 30 takeaways a night for the last two years and she has no clue why
- Diane Maines, 58, has received unwanted takeaway deliveries for two years now
- She barricaded her front door with wheelie bins to deter delivery drivers
- Northumbria Police say her home may be part of a prankster’s hoax
A grandmother was terrorised by a sick ‘stalker’ who has sent up to 30 takeaways a night to her home for the last two years.
Diane Maines, 58, was forced to barricade her front door with wheelie bins to deter delivery drivers after the cruel prankster launched the vicious crusade.
The suspected stalking campaign began at the beginning of the first coronavirus lockdown. She says that since then the problem has worsened and food deliveries from multiple restaurants have been arriving at different times.
Ms Maines claims being relentlessly bombarded with unwanted pizzas, curries, burgers and fries has left her riddled with anxiety. She also believes the stress of the campaign caused the death of her 10-year-old Cocker Spaniel, Lola.
Diane Maines, 58, was forced to barricade her front door with wheelie bins to deter delivery drivers after a cruel prankster launched a vicious takeaway delivery crusade
The terrified grandmother says the sick ‘stalker’ has sent up to 30 takeaways a night to her home over the last two years
The grandmother-of-two has been unwanted receiving food deliveries at her South Tyneside home since April 2020.
At first, she would receive five or six unwanted orders each night, for several nights. But the problem worsened and she started to get 20 or 30 separate orders.
Now, two years later, the issue is continuing, with Ms Maines, who lives on her own, still receiving orders at her door as recently as last Friday.
‘I’ve had up to 30 takeaways delivered in one night. The past weekend there was 12 delivered,’ she said.
She claims one delivery driver even banged on her door at 1.30am.
The takeaways – ordered through Just Eat – are all cash on delivery and all with different names, accounts and phone numbers attributed to the orders.
The takeaways – ordered through Just Eat – are all cash on delivery and all with different names, accounts and phone numbers attributed to the orders
‘I’m a prisoner in my own home,’ Ms Maines said. ‘I can’t trust anyone as I have no idea who is behind this. It makes me incredibly paranoid.
‘My two grandchildren can’t stay over because there is no guarantee we’ll be left in peace and it will scare them. I have been left absolutely terrified.’
The grandmother says the situation has left her ‘extremely anxious’ and on high-alert to the point where she finds it ‘difficult to sleep.’
‘I’m wary of anyone who drives past my home,’ she explained. ‘Whenever I return home I have to look around to make sure no one is coming up the street.
‘Sometimes, I sit completely still, in the dark so I don’t have to answer the door.’
She added: ‘I’m extremely anxious and find it difficult to sleep.’
Ms Maines also claims her dog became ‘tormented’ by the frequency of door knockers.
‘She passed away and I blame the stress of all of this,’ she said of Lola.
To try and stop the deliveries, Ms Maines has tried blocking her door with wheelie bins, leaving a note warning takeaway drivers that the order is likely a hoax and has also taken the batteries out of her video doorbell
She also claims a few restaurants have placed her on a no-delivery list
The orders are regularly from different takeaways around South Tyneside, normally ordered through Just Eat and have also included deliveries from as far as Jesmond in Newcastle and Seaham, County Durham.
The orders have easily cost the stalker thousands of pounds.
‘One time, the delivery had my name on it, which really scared me,’ she said.
To try and stop the deliveries, Ms Maines has tried blocking her door with wheelie bins, leaving a note warning takeaway drivers that the order is likely a hoax and has also taken the batteries out of her video doorbell.
She also claims a few restaurants have placed her on a no-delivery list.
She added: ‘One of my friends told me that she saw my address on a ‘do not deliver’ list because of this.
‘This has put me off takeaways so I’m not too bothered about that.
‘I want whoever is doing this to stop and for takeaways in the area to stop delivering to my address.’
In addition to fearing for her safety, Ms Maines said she feels badly for the drivers making the deliveries.
She said: ‘I feel bad for the drivers because it’s freezing cold and they have to return with no payment accepted.
‘Sometimes the drivers have paid for it themselves.’
‘I’m a prisoner in my own home,’ Ms Maines said. ‘I can’t trust anyone as I have no idea who is behind this. It makes me incredibly paranoid’
Ms Maines reported the matter to police in March 2021 – a year after the deliveries began – in an effort to find out who was behind the harassment.
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm an investigation was launched after a woman reported receiving a series of unwanted takeaways from an unknown person to her address in the Hebburn area.
‘Officers are treating the reports as suspected stalking, with reports made between March 2021 and December 2022.
‘Extensive enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information which could assist the investigation is asked to get in touch.’
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