The Tinder Match From Hell: Joshua Stimpson | Stalkers

(Joshua Stimpson. Picture credit: stokesentinel)

Molly McLaren was a beautiful and talented 23 year old woman who seemed to have the world at her feet. Not only was she a natural beauty, she had the brains and beautiful personality to match. A self motivated individual, Molly always worked hard towards her dreams and goals, always putting 100% effort into everything she did. Her passion was fitness and she even had an online blog dedicated to her passion. 

Molly was always busy with her university studies, close-knit group of friends, her fitness regime and her part time job as a barmaid. Despite her model looks, she was quite humble person and signed up to a popular dating app called 'Tinder'. It seemed to be the thing that all the young people at University were doing so she thought it would be a bit of fun to sign up and didn't take it too seriously. 

(Molly McLaren. Picture credit: dailystar)

Whilst being on the app she did come across the usual creeps and time wasters but there was this one guy who did look promising, his name was Joshua Stimpson and the pair struck up a conversation back and forth. He seemed to like the same things that she did and he was very passionate about health and fitness too, it seemed like the perfect match and it didn't take long before the pair were making arrangements to properly meet each other for dinner. 

When they finally met, it seemed that Joshua (who was a little bit older at the age of 26) just could not do enough for Molly, he seemed to be the perfect gentleman and Molly was on cloud nine. It was a very fast paced romance with the pair getting very close from the get-go but it did seem that Joshua was getting a bit too infatuated with Molly which was viewed at first as being quite sweet by herself and her friends. 

The nice guy persona soon begun to turn sour though as Joshua became very overprotective of Molly. It had gotten to the point that every time she turned around, he was there. Her phone was bombarded with endless calls and messages and his behaviour towards her was very controlling. Molly and her friends were growing sick and tired of Joshua's behaviour and Molly decided to put an end to the relationship which only lasted for four months in the later months of 2016. 

Instead of accepting that the relationship was not working out, Joshua was not prepared to let Molly go and when his begging and pleading didn't work, he soon took his mask off to reveal the real him. He began to harass Molly, both in everyday life, through texts and online. He would say malicious things about her and make up lies telling people who knew her that she had taken drugs which was not true. Molly put her heart and soul into her fitness blog and he tried his best to ruin this and her reputation. 

Having a night out with friends was a problem too, he hated the idea of Molly going out and being the attractive girl that she was, he knew that other guys would be looking at her, he would often stalk her and her friends on nights out. 

As his behaviour began to get worse, Molly and her mother got the police involved and the officer dealing with the situation actually contacted Joshua whilst Molly and her mum were present and told him specifically to remove any malicious online posts about Molly and to leave her alone. Joshua was very cocky and cavalier about it. 

Having been banned from contacting Molly, Joshua was trying to find ways to continue to stalk her so he encouraged another girl online to befriend Molly and find out personal details about her whereabouts and plans for the week. 

(Some of the texts sent from Joshua to Molly. Picture credit: kentlive)

He appeared again on one of Molly's night's out with friends and it just seemed that no matter what she did he just would not leave her alone. Molly ended up leaving earlier that night, she managed to make it to her car safely but there's no doubt that Joshua was watching. 

Things took a more sinister turn when Joshua decided to purchase two knives and a pick axe, it was soon clear what his intentions were, if he couldn't have Molly, then nobody could. 

He knew that the next day after the night out with friends, that Molly would be attending the gym. Joshua loaded the weapons into his car and made his way there. From the CCTV footage recorded that day, we see Joshua, dressed in workout clothes, trying to move close to Molly who was understandably freaked out that he was there. 

(Text conversation between Molly and her friend. Molly's text is in white. Picture credit: kentlive)

Molly thought that, by going to the gym at that time there would be no danger of bumping into him but there he was, yet again. She was scared and confused as to how he knew she would be there at that time. She texted her friend her concerns and was advised to leave. All of Molly's friends and family were concerned about the situation but never did a moment cross their minds that things could go as horrific as they did. Joshua was a pest, a mentally unstable person who seemed to talk the big talk but didn't walk the walk so nobody took him seriously. 

Feeling tired and frustrated at him spoiling another day, Molly walked over to her car to begin her journey home. Out of nowhere, Joshua Stimpson appeared and launched a horrific attack on Molly stabbing her 75 times. 

Molly sadly died. It was a sickening and needless crime and one that could have been avoided if the police had taken a different approach because, once again we see how they have mishandled a stalking case. What Molly and nobody else knew was that Joshua Stimpson had a history of stalking and threatening women, he was a ticking timebomb and it was there in his police file but nobody bothered to check, nobody bothered to warn Molly and her family. Instead the police officer that Molly had made the complaint to, as mentioned earlier, simply called Joshua to take the abusive online posts down. This action didn't threaten Joshua into stopping his behaviour, it made him more cocky, more invincible (in his eyes) and furthermore, angry with Molly daring to complain about him further cementing the fact that she would not take him back. 

It's not the first time that I have heard of police officers telephoning stalkers and advising them to stop their behaviour, I had the horrible experience myself of a former work colleague who tormented me, I got the police involved thinking that would put an end to the harassment but all they did was call him and he actually mocked me for it and continued to harass me. I eventually had to leave my job and move house and stay indoors for six months in an effort to keep myself safe. I was lucky enough to move past that situation but you never forget it and your heart goes out to anyone (male or female) who is going through a similar situation because it is hell. 

A beautiful young girl had her life taken away from her. She was a shining star and what was he? nothing but a pathetic, spoiled little man child who couldn't take no for an answer. Red flags were there from day one, the police knew it and so did his family. Ex girlfriends came forward to say that he put them through hell too. 

Some would say that Joshua Stimpson was a good looking guy and didn't fit the the stereotypical idea of what a stalker looked like, there was also the fact that he and Molly did have a brief relationship, could this have been some of the reasons why this case was not taken as seriously at should have been? Molly was killed in 2017, not that long ago and we are still hearing these similar types of stories all of the time. We still have a long way to go with how we handle stalking not just in the UK where this case occurred but elsewhere. 

Joshua Stimpson was found guilty and sentenced to a minimum of 26 years in prison with the residing judge commenting:

 ''This was a cruel, calculated and cowardly act. You slit her throat whilst repeatedly stabbing her. You were determined to punish her for finishing with you. You were seeking revenge.''

After the murder of Molly, 'experts' were trying to pinpoint why Joshua had such a compulsion to stalk and harass women, they tried to understand why he took rejection so strongly. Their theory is that he suffered very badly when his parents had split up and it caused him behaviour problems. 

(Joshua Stimpson Mugshot: Picture credit: Kent Police)

In my opinion, there's plenty of people who's parents split up (mine did when I was two) and they don't go on to harass, hurt and murder people. There was more to Joshua Stimpson's mental health than met the eye. The dissolving of his parents marriage might have been the straw that broke the camel's back but I believe there is more to this, we may never know the full truth of why he did what he did. What we do know is that he was selfish and didn't want anyone else to have Molly. He denied her of her life because he couldn't get what he wanted. 

Molly's family and friends created The Molly McLaren Foundation in her name to help support charities who raise awareness and help support people with eating disorders. Molly had battled with an eating disorder in the past and as someone who always went out of her way to help other people, this was a wonderful tribute to her and a lasting legacy. 

You can make a donation to The Molly McLaren Foundation here if you wish. You can also find them on Instagram and Facebook

You can also find Molly's Instagram / blog here

(Molly Mclaren. Picture credit: stokesentinel)

RIP Beautiful Molly. 

Further Reading & Sources:

Molly McLaren: Article | The Sun

Molly McLaren: Article | Daily Mail

Molly McLaren: Article | Mirror

Molly McLaren: Article | Kent Online

Molly McLaren: Article | BBC News

Joshua Stimpson: Article | Bustle

Molly McLaren: Article | Stoke Sentinel

Joshua Stimpson: Article | The Guardian

Molly McLaren: News Report | ITV News

Thank you for taking the time to read this difficult post. It's heartbreaking to think that Molly is no longer with us due to the cruel and selfish actions of a horrible individual. The red flags with Joshua Stimpson were there but nobody informed Molly or her family about his past and the way the police dealt with the situation on a whole, was quite appalling. My heart goes out to Molly's friends and family. Molly's death has left a huge wound which will never heal. 

I hope you will join me in my next post and please keep yourselves safe out there. If you are going through a similar situation to what Molly or myself went through, please check out the Suzy Lamplugh website or contact the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300. 

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