Charming, romantic and handsome, Paul Lambert seemed quite the catch when Angela Jay met him through dating app Tinder in 2016.
He sent flowers to the hospital where Angela worked as a trainee obstetrician and gynaecologist, he flew up to her home in Port Macquarie, NSW, to see her between shifts and even organised a surprise hotel upgrade for her when she went on holiday to South Africa.
The relationship was a whirlwind, but before long Angela began to feel overwhelmed.
‘I was starting to realise he was very genuine in his feelings for me, and I wasn’t really feeling quite the intensity back,’ she tells New Idea.
Angela, 28, decided her heart wasn’t in it. But Paul didn’t take the rejection well. Despite having dated for just weeks, he had developed a dangerous obsession with the beautiful doctor.
‘I started receiving text messages from a friend of his named Dan who informed me that he had attempted suicide,’ she said.
‘Over the proceeding week there was an onslaught of texts from both of them, basically just trying to coerce me into getting back into a relationship.’
As the harassment continued, Angela filed an incident report with police. She hoped that would be the end of it but when she returned home, 36-year-old Paul was waiting.
‘He told me that Dan wasn’t real and he felt like he couldn’t control the other side of him and that he just wanted to warn me, because he cared about me.
That obviously freaked me out even more. I was very firm. I said: “You need to leave my house right now. Don’t ever come back, don’t contact me, just get out of my life.”’
Trembling with fear, Angela went to her neighbours Steve and Rhonda and told them about what was happening while she waited for the police to arrive.
An AVO was filed and Angela’s family rallied. She stayed with her cousin overnight before her mum Susan arrived from the NSW Central Coast the next day.
When Susan had to return to work a few days later, Angela arranged to stay with her cousin again. But first she just needed to pop home quickly...
‘I figured it’s daylight, I haven’t heard anything from the police, haven’t heard anything from him, surely everything is OK.’
But as she made her way to the bedroom, Paul jumped out of the walk-in wardrobe.
‘I screamed. He put his hand around my mouth and said that he just wanted to talk, and if I stayed quiet, he wouldn’t hurt me.’
Armed with a knife, Paul ordered Angela into the bedroom. ‘I asked what the knife was for.
He said: “As long as you do what I say, I’m not going to hurt you.” ’
Police believe Paul had planned a sick rape fantasy – underwear and cable ties had been laid out on Angela’s bed.
‘It became clear that he was not intending to let me go,’ she says. ‘I remember making a conscious decision that I just had to make a run for it or die trying.’
Summoning all her courage, Angela bolted.
‘Before I even reached the doorway he caught me and that’s when he started stabbing me.’
Angela suffered 11 stab wounds: six to her legs, one to her hip, one to her chest, two on her forearm and one on her finger.
Losing a lot of blood, the young doctor was convinced she would bleed to death. But the horrific attack didn’t end there.
‘He grabbed hold of me and was pouring petrol over my head. I remember coughing because it was going into my mouth and my eyes. That was a whole new level of terror.’
For the full story, see this week’s New Idea – Out now.
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