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Cyberstalker caught after months on the run

Tracked down to East London cybercafe

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Convicted cyberstalker Felicity Jane Lowde was arrested in a cybercafe in London's Brick Lane this week after two months on the run.

Lowde was convicted, in absentia, by Stratford Magistrate's Court of harassing blogger Rachel North on 2 April this year. A warrant was issued for her arrest, and since then she has been in hiding.

North is a survivor of the London bombings of July 2005, and runs a blog where she campaigns for an independent inquiry into the attack.

Lowde began her campaign of harassment against North in January 2006. She has variously accused North of exploiting her survivor status to make money and of "deserting the dying". She also left threatening and obscene messages on North's blog and answering machine, and began her own blog where she made defamatory and false allegations against North.

After her conviction, Lowde, 41, from Jackson Road in Cutteslowe, Oxford, continued to post false statements, attacking North in her blog.

In her blog, North writes about Lowde's arrest: "I don't want to be reminded of Lowde, or associated with her in any way, and all I have ever wanted is for me, my family and friends to be left in peace and for the harassment to end."

Police were tipped off about Lowde's whereabouts after North asked bloggers to keep their eyes peeled for her online. According to local paper The Oxford Mail, Lowde was traced via posts she made to the newspaper's comments section.

The paper says: "Police have been trying to trace Lowde through her internet usage and asked the Oxford Mail for IP addresses of computers she was believed to be using to post messages on the newspaper's website, www.oxfordmail.net. It is understood someone began communicating with Lowde over the internet this week, allowing officers to trace her to the cybercafe and arrest her."

Lowde appeared at Thames Magistrates Court yesterday (Thursday). The Judge noted that she thought it unlikely Lowde would appear if she was granted bail, so remanded her into custody until 28 June, when she will be sentenced at the same court. Lowde faces up to six months behind bars, or a fine of up to £5,000. ®

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