Riley opens up about stalker case
10:41am Monday 9th June 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Rachel Riley has told of her relief now that a mentally ill man who tormented her online is getting the help he needs.
The Countdown host was subjected to an eight-month campaign of abuse, during which Anthony Wells sent her hundreds of abusive messages and death threats online, reported the Daily Mirror.
Rachel - who didn't realise at the time that Wells, of Chelmsford, Essex, was a paranoid schizophrenic - went to the police and last month the 31-year-old was given a restraining order and is now in a mental health hospital.
She said: "My auntie is a policewoman so I took her advice and left it to the professionals. That's what the police are for. Once you get messages that are violent you shouldn't take it lightly. The police did a brilliant job. It's been in their hands ever since.
"I've been really happy with how they've looked after me and made me feel safe.
"I didn't want to leave it in case he was dangerous and in case he was going to do it to someone else. I wanted to take it seriously.
"Now I'm glad that he's getting the help that he needs."
Rachel, 28, said it can be "dangerous" to confuse trolling and mental health issues.
"Those trolls who don't have mental health issues are worse, they are fully responsible for their actions and just do it for sadistic pleasure," she said.
Wells' eight-month campaign against Rachel began in October 2012 and lasted until May 2013.
During that time he sent messages including threats to the former Strictly star's life and posted that she was dying of cancer.
In one message, he wrote: "I hope you die forever, I hope you cry forever, I hope you die now."