LOOSE Women star Denise Welch has spoken of her 'terrifying' ordeal and relief after an obsessed fan pleaded guilty to stalking her.
Toraq Wyngard, 53, admitted stalking the Hollyoaks actress, causing serious alarm or distress ahead of a trial at Chester Crown Court on Monday.
A spokesman for Cheshire Police said that Wyngard, who has bipolar disorder, admitted stalking Welch between September 18 2020 and February 11.
He also pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a knife, criminal damage, and arson, after setting fire to a skip in the driveway of the Cheshire home Welch shares with husband Lincoln Townley, the force said.
The arson charge will lie on file.
Wyngard is due to be sentenced on October 26 after the case was adjourned for psychiatric reports.
After he admitted the charges, Welch said in a statement released by the police: "Lincoln and I are very relieved that Toraq Wyngard, otherwise known as Todd, has pleaded guilty.
"This has been an incredibly terrifying and stressful time for me and our family.
"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."
Wyngard, of Cannon Street in Salford, Greater Manchester, was found near the star's home on September 19 last year when police were called to the fire, which spread from the skip to the garage attached to the property, police said.
When officers searched him, a knife was found in his backpack.
This has been an incredibly terrifying and stressful time for me and our family.
Detective Sergeant Dave Thomason said: "Wyngard's actions were causing Denise great distress and a trial would have further impacted on her, so I'm pleased that he has now pleaded guilty.
"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."
Welch, 63, who played Natalie Barnes in Coronation Street, is a regular panellist on Loose Women and has also appeared on Waterloo Road and as a contestant on Dancing On Ice.
Thomason added that the force's "specialist victim advocates in the harm reduction unit have been supporting Denise and her husband throughout – providing practical support, safety planning and advocacy.
"The advocates are currently providing direct support to a number of stalking victims across Cheshire in highly complex stalking cases.
"I hope seeing this outcome will give others going through a similar ordeal the confidence to come forward and get the support and advice they need to end their nightmare.
"We will listen and we will help you get the right support in your case, just as we have done with Denise.
"Don't suffer in silence, call us on 101 or report it via our website."
Judge Michael Leeming, who ordered a psychiatric report for the defendant, warned Wyngard that he could be sent to jail.
The psychiatric report “should not be taken as an indication that a non-custodial sentence will be forthcoming”, he said.
The Sun previously reported how Denise was terrified when a stalker turned up at her home.
She was in bed with her husband when the suspect got into the grounds of their home late at night.
And she has previously condemned the government for not introducing a serial stalkers and domestic abusers register.
Talking about her ordeal in April, she said: “It was terrifying to know that somebody knew where you lived and was prepared to invade your space.”
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