West London stalker jailed after harassing woman for seven years

Shaheen Chisti contacted victim’s mother detailing the sexual acts he intended to carry out

Image: Shaheen Chisti

A stalker from west London has been jailed after harassing a woman for seven years.

Shaheen Chishti, 54, of Foxglove Street, Shepherds Bush, started stalking a woman he met in 2016, sending sexually harassing emails and messages on social media.

Six years later he continued to message the victim and threatened to drown her, even contacting her mother. In December 2016 after the first lot of unwanted emails and messages, the victim reported Chishti to the police.

He was handed a police caution but continued to message her on social media and from multiple phone numbers. In September 2022 Chishti contacted the victim again after getting hold of her personal details.

In 2023, Chisti managed to contact the victim’s mother and described the sexual acts he intended to carry out. He threatened to throw the victim into water as he knew she could not swim.

The victim notified the police that Chishti breached his conditions on January 23, 2023 and informed officers that he would be returning to the UK from India. When he landed in the UK he was arrested and had two mobiles seized. He was bailed under investigation and given strict conditions not to contact the victim.

Chisti breached bail conditions and contacted victim during stalking investigation

When investigating, the Met found an extensive number of messages from Chishti to the victim. There were a large number of threats to both her and her family from the past seven years.

Despite his new conditions, Chishti continued to try to communicate with the victim and was arrested on 5 October, 2023. On Wednesday 24 April he was found guilty of stalking with fear of violence and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

Police Constable Helen Constantinou, one of the officers responsible for policing Hammersmith & Fulham, said:

“Officers worked hard to ensure that Chishti faced justice for the persistent stalking and harassment he inflicted on his victim. We know that some stalking victims are scared to come forward to report these crimes to the police.

“However, I would encourage anyone who believes they are being stalked or harassed to report this to the police or the National Stalking Helpline. This result shows we can and will pursue those who break the law and ensure those at risk are kept safe.”

The idea of You (2024) – Review by Andrea Carnevali

The idea of You ⭐ ⭐ ⭐½

Solène, a 40-year-old single mother, begins an unexpected romance with 24-year-old Hayes Campbell, the lead singer of August Moon, the hottest boy band on the planet. Streaming on Prime from Thursday 2 May.

Once in a while I like to mix things up and watch things I wouldn’t normally be particularly interested in. So, when a ticket for preview of the latest romantic comedy starring Anne Hathaway landed on my inbox, I decided to take a gamble and went for it, without even knowing what it was all about. And you know what? The gamble sort of paid off.

The Idea of You may look like just another one of those many disposable rom-coms, with possibly one of the most generic titles ever (only matched by an even more generic poster), but I would be lying to you if I didn’t say that not only did I warm up to it pretty quickly, but I actually enjoyed it quite a lot too.

Yes, the script is unapologetically formulaic and you certainly won’t need a crystal ball to find out where it’s all heading, but the two leads are so incredibly likeable (and beautiful to look at) and their chemistry so genuine and palpably real that you must have a heart of stone not to be swept away by its silly charm too.

This is a sort of Notting Hill with the roles reversed. If you remember, in that film from 1999 (possibly still one of the best in its genre), a mega-film-star played by Julia Roberts fell in love with the average-Joe (and owner of a bookstore in Notting Hill), played by Hugh Grant. In The Idea of You, adapted from Robinne Lee’s 2017 novel with the same (generic) title, it’s the Mega-star singer of a boyband, played by the unbelievably cute Nicholas Galitzine, who falls in love with 40-years old, art gallery owner and divorcee played by Anne Hathaway.

The similarities between the two films are many, and while the script by Showalter and Jennifer Westfeldt might not be as sharp and refined as its predecessor (and nor it’s original, obviously), it does use these well-trodden premises as an entry point to touch on several other issues, like that of an older woman dating a much younger guy, celebrity culture, toxic fandom and internet trolls.

Nothing too deep, of course, but just enough to resonate in the distance and give it a little bit of depth. Overall, this is diverting enough and played with a lot of heart by the rather magnificent Anne Hathaway, who sells it with so much ease that it’s near to impossible not to fall for it.

The Bafta audience I saw this with (notoriously quite uptight and silent) exploded into a spontaneous applause at the end. I’m sure some of them must have felt a little bit dirty and guilty, for liking such a trivial derivative and old-fashioned film. I certainly did…

This is, after all, pure escapism which doesn’t claim to be a lot more than that, and you know what? Sometimes there is nothing wrong with that.

The Idea of You is streaming on Prime from Thursday 2 May.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick, and a co-creator of the Chiswick In Film festival.

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

Chiswick In Film festival: Chiswick In Film festival 2023

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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Central Middlesex Hospital attacker sentenced to 30 years in prison

Man who attacked colleagues with axe sentenced to 30 years in prison

Image above: Matteo Bottarelli

A hospital maintenance worker who attempted to murder two of his colleagues with an axe has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Matteo Bottarelli, 44, told a Central Middlesex Hospital worker, ‘this is your lucky day,’ before stabbing him in the neck with a type of pickaxe on June 21 last year.

A second man suffered multiple head injuries in the unprovoked attack. Gideon Tesfay was stabbed with a scalpel while Trevor McGuire was beaten over the head with a mattock.

READ ALSO: Man who attacked work colleagues at Central Middlesex Hospital found guilty of attempted murder

The gardener was arrested by armed officers at his home address in Central Way, north-west London. He was taken to hospital for treatment of self-inflicted injuries.

Wood Green Crown Court earlier heard how Bottarelli had taken heroin and cocaine before launching is attack in the hospital.

Sentencing Bottarelli, Judge Joanna Greenberg KC said:

“It is likely you were suffering from an underlying psychotic illness for several years. I have no doubt that your ingestion of a very large amount of heroin and cocaine on 21 June last year, greater than the quantity you usually took, had an impact.

“You are unable to explain why you attacked work colleagues with whom you had no dispute.

‘Mr Maguire has suffered permanent, lifelong, irreversible injuries which has had and will continue to have a substantial effect and long-term effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, and his ability to work.

‘Mr Tesfay has suffered serious scarring and has suffered serious psychological and physical harm.

‘I do not regard you as inherently wicked – what you did has not only affected each of your victims, but your own.

‘You have ruined your own life.’