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Loose Women's Denise Welch breaks silence over 'terrifying' stalking ordeal

The 63-year-old has issued a statement

Gemma Strong

Loose Women star Denise Welch has spoken of her relief after a man admitted to a "terrifying" stalking campaign which included setting a fire on the driveway of the home she shares with husband Lincoln Townley.

Denise was targeted by Toraq Wyngard between September 2020 and February of this year, and on the first day of his trial on Monday, he pled guilty to stalking the TV presenter.

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The 63-year-old also pled guilty to knife possession, criminal damage and arson and will be sentenced next month.

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Police were called to Denise's Cheshire home last September when a fire broke out on her driveway; the blaze had spread from a skip to the garage attached to the property, police said. Officers found Mr Wyngard nearby with a knife in his backpack.

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Denise pictured with her husband, Lincoln

In a statement following Monday's guilty plea, Denise spoke of her relief that her ordeal had come to an end. "Lincoln and I are very relieved that Toraq Wyngard, otherwise known as Todd, has pleaded guilty," she said. "This has been an incredibly terrifying and stressful time for me and our family.

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"We are grateful to the fire service for their prompt action saving our house and to the police for their amazing vigilance and support. Special thanks go to the Harm Reduction Unit assigned to us who have guided us through this horrible time every step of the way."

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The couple have been married since 2013

Detective Sergeant Dave Thompson said: "I'd like to thank Denise for her bravery in coming forward and I hope this reassures other victims that we do listen and take action against those who carry out such distressing crimes in our communities."

"Our Specialist Victim Advocates in the Harm Reduction Unit have been supporting Denise and her husband throughout - providing practical support, safety planning and advocacy…

"We will listen and we will help you get the right support in your case, just as we have with Denise. Don't suffer in silence, call us on 101 or report it via our website."

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