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Ellie Costello tells of her horror when she realized the stalker was 10ft away at Queen’s funeral

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GB News presenter Ellie Costello has told of the horrors she endured when she realized her ‘sinister’ stalker had stalked her and stood just 10ft from her while she covered the funeral of the Queen.

The 29-year-old broadcaster said she was left trembling with terror by her stalker – former Airline star Leo Jones whom she had interviewed on her show as a guest.

During a 16-month harassment campaign, Jones even showed up at the TV studio where Miss Costello works.

But speaking on GB News Breakfast today, Miss Costello revealed how she was even targeted on the day of the Queen’s funeral.

GB News presenter Ellie Costello (pictured) has told of the horrors she endured when she realized her ‘sinister’ stalker had stalked her and stood just 10ft from her while she covered the Queen’s funeral

She recalled how much it meant as a journalist to work during Her Majesty’s funeral and how she wanted to “do a really good job”.

But recalling the day, Miss Costello said: ‘And as you do in this job, the first question is always ‘Ellie, where are you this morning’ and I said where I was, and he later turned out that he must have followed me from that position I so publicly reported and headed for the Long Walk in Windsor – 250,000 people were there by the way, a quarter of a million people.

“And I looked up and there he wasn’t even 10 feet from my face and he had his hands in his pocket – he’s obviously been there for a while – he had his hands in his pockets, staring at me and smiling with just the most sinister smile.

“It was like he liked seeing me so uncomfortable. I was alone. I walked away from my cameraman and it was my fault. And I just, I just had a panic attack.

Miss Costello recounted how, because it was the Queen’s funeral, she was able to turn to the nearest police officer, but she could still see it in his eyes.

“I could still see where he was,” she added. “I couldn’t get my words out. I was just having a panic attack.

During a 16-month harassment campaign, Jones even showed up at the TV studio where Miss Costello (pictured) works

During a 16-month harassment campaign, Jones even showed up at the TV studio where Miss Costello (pictured) works

Leo Jones (pictured) outside St Albans Magistrates' Court.  The 42-year-old was given a five-year restraining order barring him from contacting Miss Costello

Leo Jones (pictured) outside St Albans Magistrates’ Court. The 42-year-old was given a five-year restraining order barring him from contacting Miss Costello

Jones, a

Jones, a self-proclaimed ‘travel expert’, appeared on GB News where he was interviewed by Miss Costello (pictured)

She told GB News presenters that he was able to escape but was later arrested. Jones was held in a cell overnight and pleaded guilty.

And then I was given the choice to speak in court and I chose to do so because I felt like I was letting myself down that day,’ she added.

“Because I should have said something or done something. But I felt like I did, so I wanted him to hear what that day did.

The broadcaster has bravely revealed its horror story after Jones, who rose to prominence on the ITV Airline reality show before reinventing himself as a ‘travel expert’, was given a slap in the face this week five-year restraining order.

Jones pleaded guilty at St Albans Magistrates’ Court to causing the presenter serious alarm, distress and mental anguish and was given a 26-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years and to a five-year restraining order.

Miss Costello chose to testify behind a curtain as she felt he would have wanted to see her again.

“I think I feel like it was something he would have wanted, to see me or be close to me, or something like that,” she said.

“So I didn’t want him to have that, but I wanted him to hear what had done to me.”

She decided to take notes and talk about the paranoia and the fact that after this particular incident she could “see it everywhere”.

Miss Costello (pictured) says she received chilling messages from Jones, which continued even after she told him to stop

Miss Costello (pictured) says she received chilling messages from Jones, which continued even after she told him to stop

Jones started sending chilling messages after being interviewed by Miss Costello on GB News (pictured)

Jones started sending chilling messages after being interviewed by Miss Costello on GB News (pictured)

“Walking out of my house one day, I turned right because I was pretty sure the man walking behind me was that person and hid in my neighbor’s driveway just to protect myself from this man,” she said.

“It wasn’t even him. The man who walked past was someone else.

Jones rose to fame in Airline, which ran for eight years until 2006 and followed the lives of EasyJet employees through the ups and downs of airport drama, making them little stars.

He recently presented himself as a ‘travel expert’, analyzing the industry under Covid-19 travel restrictions and was first interviewed by Miss Costello on GB News in August 2021.

After the show, the couple exchanged messages thanking each other but nothing more.

He was interviewed again by Miss Costello in October of the same year, after which he suggested they present a travel show together before later telling her: “I love seeing you in the morning X”

When she didn’t respond, he followed up with “you take my breath away” and then, over the next three days, “you motivate me beyond words”, “I love seeing you” and “you are my ray of sunshine, I love you”.

When Jones then asked, “How long do I have to wait to see you, it’s driving me crazy,” Miss Costello eventually replied, telling her, “Please stop texting me, it’s is more than inappropriate.”

But the court heard the messages only stopped for three months before Jones, using a separate Instagram account, said: “I know I’m not supposed to message you, but thank you for everything you you do for the travel industry”, followed by “No we will never approach you”.

Miss Costello then blocked all her social media accounts from contacting hers.

Miss Costello (pictured on set) chose to testify behind a curtain as she felt he would have wanted to see her again

Miss Costello (pictured on set) chose to testify behind a curtain as she felt he would have wanted to see her again

Jones, pictured here on GB News, was today handed a 26-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years, and a five-year restraining order at St Albans Magistrates' Court

Jones, pictured here on GB News, was today handed a 26-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years, and a five-year restraining order at St Albans Magistrates’ Court

In June this year, Jones showed up at the GB News studio in Paddington to ask if she was available before later sending flowers with a message: ‘Something to say hello from Leo X.’

Miss Costello also received an email from Mr Jones via her website which read: ‘Ellie, I don’t want to be like a stalker, I have feelings for you, you were a pivotal part of my journey’ .

Miss Costello described the aftermath of the 16-month horror as ‘living with a disease’.

She said: ‘It’s not a serious illness but like a cold, you know, like the symptoms are still there, it’s almost a part of you and you’re so used to it and being nervous and looking around you and feel nervous about people approaching you.

Miss Costello explained how when she is now approached by people saying, “Hi Ellie!” she’s paranoid about who they might be or what they want from you.

The broadcaster had no idea his story was going to be in the papers. She added: ‘I never really talked about what happened to me. I mean, I intentionally didn’t tell my family so I wanted to protect them. Only a very small circle of people knew about it.

Leo Jones shot to fame after appearing on the ITV Airline reality show, which followed easyJet staff

Leo Jones shot to fame after appearing on the ITV Airline reality show, which followed easyJet staff

She thinks that’s not necessarily a bad thing now because everyone has been “so supportive and kind.” But she added that she was worried about how she would be perceived by people.

Miss Costello explained how since speaking to other people, including her friends, she has come to realize that harassment is ‘so common’ but people don’t think they will be taken seriously by the police.

Jones’ sentencing comes as campaigners have launched a ‘super complaint’ against police forces across the UK for allegedly failing to protect women from stalkers, meaning police watchdogs must now consider to launch a national inquiry.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which was set up after the London estate agent disappeared and murdered in 1986, says victims are put at risk due to ‘systemic’ failures.

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