Wednesday at lunchtime was the last straw for Richmond woman Koszima Mair.
For almost two years, she has been reduced, for the most part, to living in fear of a random stalker who, despite being jailed and ordered to steer clear, just keeps coming back to haunt her.
According to Mair, the man who she’s never exchanged a conversation with – Jesse Castillo – appeared across the street from her home around noon yesterday, despite a court order last October banning him from most of west Richmond, where she lives.
She had been walking her dog Wednesday and was returning home, when she claimed she spotted him staring at her from a few yards away.
Mair said she made sure Castillo – who has tried entering her home in the past and stood outside her window staring in - saw her calling 9-1-1, adding that Castillo had left the area by the time police arrived a few minutes later.
She said officers picked him up about an hour later in central Richmond and he was due to appear in court from custody on Thursday.
But the last 22 months have taken their toll on Mair, who says she has no choice now but to leave the city she loves.
“I’ve had enough. I’m going to have to leave Richmond…I kind of have to. He clearly frequents Richmond so I can’t be here and he clearly pays little attention to the court,” Mair told the Richmond News on Thursday, as she sat by her laptop, waiting for news of Castillo’s court case.
“I like Richmond, so it’s going to be hard; but I’m not sure what else I can do. I just need him to be kept away in the meantime.
“I still don’t know what his intentions are. He’s very menacing and he’s tried to get into my home before so, who knows.
“I knew it would just be a matter of time before he returned.”
The News has reached out to the RCMP for more details of Castillo’s arrest and alleged breach of conditions.
“He clearly pays little attention to rules; any judge can see this will never change,” added Mair.
“I’m really, really hoping he gets some time in jail, just so I know where he is.”
Richmond stalker sentenced
The News reported last October how the single mom-of-two was feeling “a little better” after pleading with the courts to protect her from a stranger who stalked her since May 2020.
Back in the fall of 2021, Mair questioned whether the sentence – time already served, two years’ probation and a wide exclusion zone around Mair’s No. 1 Road home – would be enough.
For 14 months up until last summer, Castillo would randomly turn up at her door, try the handle and stare into her front window.
On one occasion, he was spotted in her garden, staring into her home while apparently sharpening two pieces of a broken concrete bird bath.
He has been arrested several times over the 22 months and appeared in court on multiple occasions.
In her victim impact statement last fall, Mair detailed how she and her teenage kids feel like prisoners in their own home when Castillo is not in custody.
Living in fear in west Richmond
She explained how she had to install multiple security cameras around her home, how she can’t go for a run in her own neighbourhood without constantly looking over her shoulder and how she fears for the safety of her children every time she’s not around.
The Crown argued last year in court how, given that Castillo can offer no explanation for harassing Mair, he clearly needs mental health treatment and that counselling should be part of the probation order.
His lawyer, Birgit Eder, however, pointed out that Castillo, despite having being deemed not fit to plead in June, was later deemed competent in July.