Page last updated at 10:39 GMT, Monday, 8 February 2010

Harvey Nichols death mother sets up anti-stalking line

Clare Bernal
Clare Bernal was shot dead by her ex-boyfriend in Harvey Nichols

The mother of a Harvey Nichols shop assistant who was killed by an ex-boyfriend is helping to set up an advice line for victims of stalking.

Clare Bernal, 22, of Groombridge on the Kent/Sussex border, was shot dead by Michael Pech at the department store in Knightsbridge, London, in 2005.

Ms Bernal's mother, Tricia, is planning to launch a national helpline in April.

She told BBC Kent it was important that there was a helpline specifically dedicated to the victims of stalking.

The service will be run by Protection Against Stalking, formerly the CRT Trust, the charity Mrs Bernal helped to start in 2008, in collaboration with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and Network for Surviving Stalking.

'Recognise danger'

Mrs Bernal said: "Clare would never have gone to a domestic violence helpline. She would never have seen herself as a victim of domestic abuse.

"It has to be specific to stalking so that anyone who feels at risk - men, women, teenagers - they know exactly what it is, stalking.

"Then they can be signposted and advised on how to deal with it, how to recognise the danger signs."

She added: "We're setting it up with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and the Network for Surviving Stalking. We're hoping it's going to be set up by April. Interviewing is taking place at the moment."

At the time of the shooting, Pech was awaiting sentencing after admitting harassment. The former soldier stalked Ms Bernal after the end of their brief relationship earlier that year.

After killing Ms Bernal, who grew up in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, he turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.



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