‘Scissorhands stalker chopped off my hair’

Published Feb 15, 2012


A British student whose hair was cut off by a scissor-wielding stalker has told of how the bizarre attack has left her terrified of her own shadow.

Jessica Wright, 19, spoke out as Darren Dixon, 44, appeared in court and admitted cutting off chunks of her long red hair, as well as a similar attack on another woman.

Reliving the moment she felt Dixon’s breath on the back of her neck as she walked to lectures at Manchester Metropolitan University, she said: “I saw him when I had left home. He just started to follow me. He was touching my hair when I was walking. I moved to the side but he was still following me.

“He walked up behind me and was playing with my hair. I turned around and asked him if he wanted to get past but he didn’t speak.”

The undergraduate said she then heard the sharp metallic sound of the scissors. Then I knew immediately that he’d cut off a chunk of my hair and I was staring at him in utter disbelief.

Without saying a word, Dixon, 48, of Salford, Greater Manchester, bent down and began picking the clumps of hair from the pavement.

Wright, who studies event management, said: “He just looked at me as he got to his feet and ran off. It was surreal. When I noticed what happened I was right by the university so I just ran in and phoned my mum and then the police came. The whole thing was dreadful. I had quite long hair but I had to cut it.”

Wright, of Liverpool, said: “I was really freaked out by it all. I don’t really go anywhere on my own any more.

“It was all just horrible and he cut off quite a big chunk of hair. There were bits missing from other parts of my hair as well. I’m pleased he has been caught, although I’m still no closer to understanding why he did it.

“The whole ordeal has left me extremely wary of everyone now. I find myself constantly looking over my shoulder, and at times I feel terrified of my own shadow. All I can hope is that the mental scars will grow out along with my hair.”

On October 26, exactly a month after the attack on Wright, Dixon followed his second victim around the aisles of an Asda store in Trafford, Greater Manchester.

As she leaned over to reach for an item, she heard a cutting sound then saw a clump of her hair on the floor. The terrified victim heard Dixon mutter “I’m sorry” before he made off with the hair.

He was arrested after CCTV images of the first attack were released by Greater Manchester Police.

After Dixon pleaded guilty to two counts of assault at Manchester Crown Court yesterday, sentencing was adjourned until April for psychiatric reports to be prepared. No explanation was given for why he carried out the attacks, which left his victims feeling scared and “robbed”.

At an earlier hearing Tom Cawley, defending, said: “He has expressed remorse and shame for what he has done. Since his arrest Mr Dixon has sought professional help.” - Daily Mail

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