A teenager left terrified after being stalked by her first driving instructor has finally passed her test – which she says has put a “full stop” on her ordeal.
Maisie Relph, 19, passed with just three minors on Sunday (13/11).
The University of York student first started learning to drive on the roads near her home in Bromley, south-east London.
But her lessons took a dark turn when instructor Graham Mansie began stalking her last year.
A court heard he showered Maisie with gifts, created fake social media accounts to ‘catfish’ her and even paid dark web hackers.
Maisie went to the police and obsessed Mansie, now 53, admitted stalking in court in May – but avoided jail.
However, he was then locked up for 20 months in September after breaching the terms of his restraining order – after being found outside the student’s flat with blades.
Despite her past experiences, brave Maisie decided to start learning to drive again with female instructor Jenny Williams.
And, after taking her test in secret, she passed – which she says has given her closure.
Maisie, a psychology in education student, said: “I’m so chuffed – I just can’t stop smiling.
“It’s really put a full stop after him. It was such a great thing to do.
“Nobody expected me to take my test. They were totally gobsmacked. I didn’t tell a soul I was taking it. I didn’t want the pressure.
“I was really nervous about having lessons again, but I didn’t want it all to beat me. I just decided to face it head on.
“My new instructor said I’d been through much worse than taking my test and she was right. Having to face Graham in court was the most frightening thing I’ve ever done.
“I just drew on all my determination and resilience to take my test, and I’m so glad I did.
“If I hadn’t had someone so lovely and supportive for my new instructor I wouldn’t have had the confidence to sit it. I’ve really got her to thank.
“I’d like to reassure anyone in a similar situation just to keep strong, determined and resilient, try to keep doing the things you want to do and find ways to do them safely.”
Maisie celebrated with her pals after shocking them all with the news on Sunday.
She had tried going back to driving lessons with a new instructor in January but found she had to quit over her ordeal.
Maisie then stopped trying to book and attend lessons in May, while the case was going through court.
But, when she had to redo her theory test in October, she started to think about her practical test again and got back behind the wheel.
Maisie said she could never have had another male instructor, but knew she would have to have a male examiner for her test near in Walton near Wakefield, West Yorks.
She said: “My exam was the first time I’d been on my own with a man in the car [since]. It was very scary.
“It brought back such a lot of memories of things Graham had done and said. I think that and the test were equally frightening.
“I knew I just had to face it, I just had to try not to think about it. I’d never have been able to manage with another male instructor.”
It was said that Mansie stalked Maisie over four-month period between July and October last year.
He created a TikTok account called ‘For Maisie’ which featured a red heart emoji and the bio “my favourite”.
And he asked her out for drinks and showered her with unwanted gifts, posing on WhatsApp as a male first-year student.
He also lost hundreds of pounds trying to pay dark web fraudsters to hack her socials.
Mansie, from Beckenham in south-east London, pleaded guilty to one count of stalking and was given an eight-week jail term, suspended for a year, in May this year.
But York crown court then heard that, just nine days later, the stalker got in his car and drove 220 miles to the city
One of Maisie’s flatmates saw Mansie sitting on the grass under her window, rocking, when he returned from work around 11pm, it was said.
The frightened students called security, who found wounds on his wrists, and he handed over Stanley blades. The police found more blades, the court heard.
Mansie was then given 20 months behind bars on September 21 after breaking his restraining order.
He was given 16 months for breach of a restraining order, two months for possession of blades, and his suspended sentence of two months was activated, all to run consecutively.