A woman has thanked detectives after her stalker was sentenced at court.

Stephen Eden, of High Street, Rainham in Kent, repeatedly turned up at the woman’s home in Redbridge over a period of four days earlier this year.

The woman reported Eden to the police on January 22, and he was charged with stalking four days later.

Eden, 50, was found guilty of stalking her in April, and jailed for 12 weeks suspended for 18 months at Barkingside Magistrates Court last month.

The court also handed him a restraining order, which prevents Eden from contacting the victim until 2029.

The woman has now praised the work of detectives from Metropolitan Police’s East Area command – which covers Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge.

She said that she could not have “completed this journey to trial” without their help.

The woman explained: “Thank you to the officers who attended my home on the January 24, who were approachable, making it easy for me to be honest and open about the abuse I had been experiencing.

“They showed patience and understanding when I felt scared to make a statement, despite them encouraging and reassuring me that I would be protected.”

She added that she had experienced “exceptional” communication throughout the case, with officers logging on while on annual leave and carrying out welfare checks in the evenings.

She explained that by keeping Eden on remand and quickly securing court bail, the 50-year-old was prevented from returning to her home.

“This process has made me understand fear, how disabling it can be, and how irrational it can make your thought process.

“The professionalism with which all the police officers have treated me has been outstanding.

“I can now look to a brighter future. Forever grateful to you all for getting my freedom back.”

Det Insp Lee Gordon said: “On behalf of Public Protection, this is a fantastic collective result – highlighting the importance of pursuing…abusers whilst they are in police custody.

“We couldn’t be prouder of the team’s efforts, securing the conviction of a persistent stalker.

“The victim can now breathe a sigh of relief and begin a new life away from her tormenter.”