Strange name Best, he Looks Asian, one Sure thing, Best is a Dangerous Bastard, and the young woman, is very Lucky?

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Gardaí nab stalker who held woman hostage with hammer as he sits on plane at Dublin Airport

Best took a train to Birmingham after booking a flight to New York but missed the flight by 40 minutes. He then got on a ferry from Holyhead and when he arrived in Dublin went to the airport to take a flight to New York.

Edward Best was caught after police launched a manhunt
Edward Best was caught after police launched a manhunt (Image: GMP)

Gardaí have handed over a dangerous stalker to British police after he was caught in Dublin attempting to board a flight to New York.

The American man dumped by his girlfriend travelled almost 4,000 miles to confront her – before holding her cousin hostage for hours while armed with a hammer.

Edward Best, 26, had subjected his then partner to “horrific” online abuse but she finally built up the courage to block him after his disgusting messages, including telling her terminally ill father he hoped his death would be “terrible”.

A court heard Best became increasingly obsessive with the woman, despite never meeting her.

They struck up a relationship online and had played video games together since 2018.

But when the woman blocked Best from all social media platforms, the stalker, fuelled by drink and cannabis, bought a one-way ticket to Manchester and paid for an Airbnb. He purchased a hire car and scoped out the woman’s house in Tameside, Greater Manchester, for days.

When he struck on April 3, his ex was not home. Her unsuspecting cousin had gone round to feed the cat while she and her family took a holiday to mark the anniversary of her father’s death, Manchester Evening News says.

Best had scaled a wall and “leapt” at the cousin when she opened the door to check for an intruder. He held her hostage for about three hours, until she was able to text a friend with the message “999”.

The man has now been jailed after a judge said he was 'a danger to the public'
The man has now been jailed after a judge said he was ‘a danger to the public’

Best tried to flee the country but was caught. He has now been jailed for seven years and described as a “danger to the public”. He is set to be deported back to the United States at a later stage.

Sentencing Best at Minshull Street Crown Court, Recorder Abigail Hudson said: “There can be few more terrifying examples of stalking than this was.T

“You destroyed her online life.

“You destroyed something she took pleasure in, communicating with friends online. She will never recover from your actions over those two years.

“I consider you to be a danger to the public, in my view your deportation would be conducive to the public good.”

Speaking of her cousin who Best held hostage, the judge added: “She had absolutely no idea what you were capable of. This must have been absolutely terrifying.”

The court heard the creep demanded the woman share intimate images of herself after chatting online.

At one stage she decided to cut off contact, and Best then waged a “campaign” to “persuade” or “frighten” her into resuming their relationship, prosecutor Brian Williams said.

He would send up to 100 messages a day, and in one particularly vile threat he vowed to travel to the UK and said he would murder her and then rape her corpse.

Best travelled from Chicago to Manchester to carry out the ordeal
Best travelled from Chicago to Manchester to carry out the ordeal

Best also messaged her college claiming she was abusing drugs, and contacted other members of her family and friends. Having sought solace that Best lived almost 4,000 miles away, her anxiety increased when she sent her a screenshot of personal details.

In March she told Best that she had met someone else and didn’t want anything more to do with him. “She hoped this would deter him, sadly it had the very opposite effect,” Mr Williams said.

Best purchased a one-way ticket to Manchester for $800 (£700) on March 22, hired an Airbnb in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, and loaned a rental car for a week. After arriving in the UK he repeatedly travelled to her home in Tameside for “research”, and searched for details of the area online. She had disclosed her address to him during their online chats.

He also Googled disturbing terms including “the best way to knock someone out” and “what happens if you hit somebody on the head with a hammer”. Best bought a hammer from Asda, and some duct tape from an electrical shop.

His ex had gone away on holiday with family to mark the anniversary of her father’s death, and had left her cousin to feed her pets. She was in the house when Best struck on April 3. He’d climbed over a fence and as she went to inspect after hearing a noise, Best “leapt” at her.

She fell over and Best stood over her, armed with a hammer. Best began to bombard her with questions about her cousin, asking when she was coming back.

Best, who said he’d “f***** up”, was ‘aggressive’ and ‘rambling’ during the near three hours in which she held her hostage. He hid her phone and said he was going to kidnap his ex, while searching around the house.

About three hours later, she was able to get to her phone and texted a friend with the message “999”, and a detail of where she was. Her friend arrived shortly after and saw her through the window mouthing the word “help”.

Best ran away after realising he had been rumbled. The victim later told her friend that she feared she’d be raped or killed.

Best took a train to Birmingham after booking a flight to New York but missed the flight by 40 minutes. He then got on a ferry from Holyhead and when he arrived in Dublin went to the airport to take a flight to New York.

The creep wanted to track down a woman he'd never met
The creep wanted to track down a woman he’d never met

However, gardai intercepted him as he sat on the plane waiting for it to take off, and returned him to Holyhead.

While on the run, he had Googled the potential jail sentences for a ‘home invasion’, and searched for his own name to check whether police were onto him. Best was ‘frank’ with officers in interview, but said that he had ‘no real plan’ of what he’d do when he arrived.

“He didn’t know what he would do if she had been there,” Mr Williams said of Best’s police interview. Speaking of the two victims, both aged in their 20s, Mr Williams added: “These are two young ladies who have quite clearly been traumatised by what has happened.”

Defending, Brendan O’Leary said Best, who has no previous convictions, accepted he subjected his two victims to a “horrifying” experience. Mr O’Leary said Best is “disgusted with himself” and is remorseful. “He describes how this should never have got as far as it did,” he said.

He said Best was diagnosed with ADHD and OCD as a child and has ‘autistic traits’. He’d been bingeing on drink and cannabis prior to travelling to the UK, the court heard.

Best’s relationship with his mother had broken down and he’d began living in his car, having left his job. Mr O’Leary said Best felt “detached” from the world.

“Ultimately there was no plan,” he said of Best’s journey to the UK. “There was an intention to come and confront her and speak to her, and find out about what was going on.

“He says to me that the possession of the hammer was an intent to frighten her into speaking to him.” Best pleaded guilty to stalking his ex between January 2020 and April this year, attempted false imprisonment, false imprisonment and having an offensive weapon.

He will serve two-thirds of his seven year sentence in jail, before the Parole Board decide whether it is safe to release him. The judge said Best’s actions “impacted on every aspect of her (his ex’s) personal existence”.

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