A teenager too terrified to get back in a car after being stalked by her driving instructor has bravely passed her test.
Maisie Relph got her licence on Sunday despite an extremely traumatic experience learning how to drive around her home in Bromley, south-east London, last year.
The 19-year-old said she finally has ‘closure’ and can put a ‘full stop’ to her ordeal with instructor Graham Mansie, 53.
Mansie stalked the teenager last year, showering her with gifts, creating fake social media accounts to ‘catfish’ her and even paying dark web hackers.
He admitted stalking in May but avoided jail with a suspended sentence and given a restraining order.
But he was locked up for 20 months in September after he drove more than 200 miles to self-harm in front of the teen’s home.
Maisie tried to go back driving in January but found it too difficult to continue.
Nevertheless, she refused to give up and ‘drew on all her determination and resilience’ to push on with female instructor Jenny Williams.
She had to be alone in a car with a man during her test – the first time since her ordeal – but she still managed to pass with just three minors.
Maisie said: ‘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.’
The University of York student did not tell anyone about the test, because she ‘didn’t want the pressure’ and surprised everyone with the good news over the weekend.
She said: ‘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.’
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