(Daily Mail By EDDIE WRENN) – These creepy CCTV stills show the sinister prowling of a stalker dubbed ‘Mr Scissorhands’ who secretly followed lone women and cut off their hair.
Darren Dixon, 48, armed himself with a pair of scissors, then crept up behind victims in the street to snip off their locks before running off.
In one case Dixon stalked university student Jessica Wright, 19, in Manchester before suddenly cutting her hair on a pavement in a busy suburb.
In another case, he trailed a woman around a supermarket before slicing her hair as she shopped.
In both incidents, Dixon grabbed the chunks of severed hair and ran away with his scissors before his stunned victims realised what had happened.
But he was arrested after CCTV of him stalking Jessica was issued by Greater Manchester Police as part of an appeal to catch him.
The first incident occurred on September 26 after Dixon began trailing Jessica as she was walking to lectures at Manchester Metropolitan University.
CCTV captured him as a police car drove past and he stopped to shield his face against a wall. But Dixon then continued to walk after Jessica, breaking into a run to catch up.
She was followed for around 20 minutes before ‘feeling his breath on her neck.’
She said: ‘I was really freaked out and very upset by it all. I don’t really go anywhere on my own any more. It was all just horrible and he cut off quite a big chunk of hair. There were bits missing from other parts of my hair as well.’
Jessica, from Liverpool, who is studying events management and lives in university halls of residence, said she was now ‘extremely wary’ of everyone and was trying to recover from the ‘mental scars’.
She had no clue she was going to be attacked, until she suddenly heard a ‘metallic sound’ as he approached her from behind and repeatedly touched her long red hair.
Jessica initially thought Dixon had bumped into her as he tried to walk past. But she turned around after she felt her hair move again to find him picking up clumps of her hair from the ground.
She then ran in terror into a nearby university building to raise the alarm.
Describing her walk, she said: ‘I saw him when I had left home. He just started to follow me. He was touching my hair when I was walking. I moved to the side but he was still following me.
‘I turned around and asked him if he wanted to get past but he didn’t speak. Then I knew immediately that he’d cut off a chunk of my hair and I was staring at him in utter disbelief.
‘He was bent down on the floor, a pair of silver scissors in one hand, picking up freshly chopped locks of my long, dark hair.
‘He said nothing, just looked at me as he got to his feet and ran off. It was surreal. When I noticed what happened I was right by the university so I just ran in and phoned my mum and then the police came.
‘The whole thing was dreadful. I had quite long hair but I had to cut it.’
Dixon, from Salford, who has admitted two charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm appeared at Manchester Crown Court for sentencing today, but the case was adjourned until April for the preparation of psychiatric reports.
Outside court he tried to hide his face from photographers and even got a friend to pose as him in bid to avoid having his picture taken.
No explanation was given as to why Dixon carried out the bizarre attacks, which left his victims feeling scared and ‘robbed’. He has no previous convictions.
Exactly a month after the attack on Jessica, Dixon followed his second victim around the aisles of an Asda store in Trafford on October 26.
As she leaned over to reach for an item in the book aisle, she also heard a cutting sound behind her and then saw a clump of her hair on the floor. Dixon then muttered ‘I’m sorry’ before again making off with the hair and scissors.
At an earlier hearing his defence lawyer Tom Cawley said: ‘He has expressed remorse and shame for what he has done. I agree that this is a very unusual case. Since his arrest Mr Dixon has sought professional help.’