Unrepentent Student Resumes Stalking Supervisor
Cambridge may be a hotbed for celebrity academics, but one mature student takes her obsession too far
50 year old ex-PhD student Seema Malik was arrested on Tuesday after breaking a restraining order less than 24 hours after it was handed down. The international student had previously been arrested on Sunday after an infatuation with professor John Gray got out of hand. She received a suspended jail sentence and an anti-stalking restraining order on Monday, but was caught in Homerton College, her ex-supervisor’s college, hours later.
While your average Cantab may experience nightmares about scary supervisors, Malik believed that her’s “communicat[ed] with her without actually writing or speaking to her.” In Monday’s sentencing following her first arrest, Cambridge magistrates heard how Malik sent Gray 20 voicemails and 20 emails in September, unsuccessfully persuading him to leave his wife for her.
The prosecution claimed that 65 year old Gray, who suffers from advanced stage cancer and is on leave from university duties, did not encourage Malik’s affections in any way. Malik, who has spent the last four years writing her rather normal-sounding thesis “Head teachers’ and teachers’ continuous professional development as a strategy for authentic school improvement in India” then quit her PhD earlier this month, as faculty staff challenged her bizarre behaviour.
Things came to a head last weekend, when Malik visited the professor’s residence on Friday demanding to see him. She returned three more times until she was reported to the police, and arrested on Sunday December 8th. The victim said the ordeal had “unnerved me and my wife and it has led us to fear for our safety”
Admitting to all charges brought against her, Malik was banned from contacting the professor and his wife, and from going to his home, the Faculty of Education, or Homerton College on Monday 9 December. Following her subsequent arrest on Tuesday afternoon, she was held overnight before receiving another hearing yesterday. In addition to a £165 fine and a one-month suspended jail sentence, Malik has lost the right to stay in the UK, as her student visa elapsed after she left her degree.