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"I can't explain the horror you feel when someone is trying to set you on fire."

Dr Angela Jay is 28 and “definitely” believes in love. “It’s that magical feeling you get when you know you have a deep connection with someone,” she told Channel Seven’s Sunday Night.

She believed in love when she took her new boyfriend home to meet her parents and sister in the middle of last year.

“This tall, good-looking, very confident, well-presented man walked in with the most amazing bunch of flowers I’ve ever seen in my life,” Angela’s mum Susan also told the program.

She believed in love when she ended the relationship after six weeks of dating, thinking he “ticked all the boxes” but his “intensity” was smothering. “I felt guilty… Have I lead him on?” Angela wondered.

Her father was the only one to sense the danger. “Something’s not right,” he told Susan at the time.

No one could have guessed 36-year-old insurance manager Paul Lambert used to be known as Paul Scales. That he’d been deported from the US after stalking his ex-girlfriend. That he’d been arrested for beating his previous wife. That he wasn’t supposed to be in New South Wales and that he had been diagnosed by a Brisbane psychologist with borderline personality disorder.

Angela Jay and Paul Lambert.
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It escalated quickly. He started to message and call incessantly. Paul couldn't handle the rejection and threatened to kill himself by walking in front of a truck.

Angela tried to placate him by inviting him to her high school reunion. The night ended at 1am when Paul started abusing her on the street.

Angela's sister Danielle was called for help and the two women went directly to the police station. "We were told, 'This guy is known to police very well. But he's more of a threat to himself than he is to you'," Danielle told host Melissa Doyle.

Paul sent Angela messages, telling her she wasn't safe in her Port Macquarie home. He said he'd stolen copies of her house keys and urged her to leave and go to her neighbour's place.

"I considered telling my work colleagues what was going on," Angela, who works as an obstetrician and gynecologist, admitted.

"Maybe not in full, but at least enough to say, 'Don't stress, but if I don't show up to work, you should probably call the police'. I was just so ashamed that I was in this situation at all."

Paul watched her for days, staying in a hotel room opposite the hospital in which she worked. At the end of each day, he would follow her home and watch her from the nature reserve at the back of her house. Angela had no idea he was following her, she hoped he was back in Sydney.

One Thursday in November, Angela left work at 5pm and went home to feed the cat and have some dinner. She planned to stay the night at her cousin's house because she knew she wouldn't be safe in her house alone. Her mum had just left after staying for a few days. "My biggest regret is leaving to go back to work [in Sydney] on the Thursday, because that is when he struck," Susan told Channel Seven.

It was still daylight when Angela sat on the couch and ate leftover spaghetti bolognaise watching TV. "I felt really calm, I don't know why," she said. "It was daytime, I thought I'd just quickly duck home, have some dinner and grab some clothes."

But Paul was hiding in her walk-in-wardrobe.

"I started walking down [to the bedroom at the end of the house] and, as I was turning corner to enter my bedroom, he jumped out at me," Angela said. "I screamed, obviously. And he put his hand around my mouth so I couldn't scream any more. He look me in the eye - a really intense look - and said, 'it's okay, I just want talk'."

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Dr Angela Jay (centre) with friends. Source: Facebook.

Paul told Angela to sit on the bed. He quizzed her on where she'd been staying. "Was it a man's house?" he kept asking.

"I realised I had to try and get away or die trying," Angela said. "I wasn't going to sit around and wait to see what he was going to do to me."

She ran from the room. "He, of course, caught me and I suddenly saw this knife in his hand. I didn't actually feel him stabbing me but I could see the blood when I looked down."

"I just thought, 'Oh my God, he's actually stabbing me, he's actually going to kill me'. I was so scared and felt so alone and that I was just going to die alone in this big house that I should never have gone back to."

She fought herself away from him once more. Again, he caught her.

"He raised a big rectangular can and started pouring petrol over my head," Angela said. "My eyes were burning, it got in my mouth, it got in my ears. I can't even explain the horror you feel when you know that someone is trying to set you on fire. I was just terrified that any second I would go up in flames."

The petrol helped Angela slip from his grasp. She finally made it to the front door and ran into the care of her neighbour - Steve Willdern - who had heard the screams and had been running down the driveway with a steel bar, ready to intervene.

"All I could smell was petrol," Steve said. "I know I had my arm around her and I dragged her up into our garage."

Steve yelled for his daughter Amy to call an ambulance.

"I just kept saying over and over again, 'I'm gonna bleed to death, please call an ambulance'," Angela said.

Paul had stabbed her 11 times in the thigh and upper arm.

He fled the scene in a white Toyota Corolla that he'd parked out the back of Angela's property. As he drove away he made three phone calls.

He called Angela's mobile first. Steve, who was riding in the ambulance with her, answered it.

Sarah Ferguson and Andrew a former abuser talk about Domestic Violence in Australia. Post continues below.

"He said, as calm as can be, in the calmest voice, 'How is she?'," Steve said. "And then I knew, I thought, 'holy shit, this is the bloody bloke that's done this'."

Paul called Angela's mum: "He was cruel. So cruel," Susan said.

Then, he called the police. He threatened to end his own life and recounted Angela's attack by referring to himself in third person

"He was gonna force her to have sex with him. Then he was going to strangle her," Paul told police. "He was gonna pour petrol on her and kill her."

Police tracked Paul's mobile and stopped him in his car around 150 kilometres from Port Macquarie. He got out of the car holding a knife. They tried tasering him, it didn't work. He ran, still carrying the knife, and police fired with guns. Paul was shot dead.

"He was gone and he couldn't hurt me any more. It was a huge, huge relief," Angela said. "It was almost a euphoric sense that I somehow got away and he's gone. I don't have to worry. I'm well and truly safe."

Angela returned to work within weeks. "Passing a baby on to a new mum and her partner and seeing that look in their eyes, it's just beautiful. I couldn't see myself doing anything else," the 28-year-old said of her job earlier in the show.

She is also fighting to make a difference and raise awareness about violence against women. "I feel like I didn't die for a reason and that I now am here to help as many people as I can," she said.

Angela and her father and her brother are all training for White Ribbon's Trek for Respect, a week-long hike along the Larapinta trail in the Northern Territory in September this year.

Finally, and most incredibly, Angela still believes in love.

One day, she wants a partner and a family, too. "I'd definitely love to have that special partner," she said. "Someone who'll be there to support me... And will hopefully take the lead with raising the children," she laughs.

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