Tag Archives: Harassment

Justin Lee Collins

Justin Lee Collins, who was 38 at the time of his offence of harassment, avoided a jail sentence following tormenting his ex-girlfriend, Anna Larke, in a nine-month campaign of abuse, known as cyberhickery. The comedian was ordered to do 140 hours of unpaid community work and pay £3,500 costs.

Anna Larke, said she was “absolutely ecstatic” that she had won her case against Collins, where he was found guilty of harassment causing fear of violence.

Whilst Collins’ case did not involving him misusing a public communications, he made claims during it about Larke, which were not upheld. Collins said that recovering alcoholic Ms Larke was “a fantasist who bombarded (him) with jealous texts.

The testimony of Anna Larke, who works in public relations, was questioned by Justin Lee Collins’s estranged wife. “I think the verdict is ridiculous. I don’t believe it for even one second,” she said.

But some commentators on Internet trolling were disgusted. “If Justin Lee Collins had tweeted or Facebooked that abuse, he’d probably be in prison. Be horrible in person, not online,” they said.

Kairon Long

Kairon Long, who was 30 at the time of his trolling offence was convicted of criminal damage and harassment at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court.

Long, of Tydfil Terrace, Troedyrhiw, had been in a nine-year relationship with Hannah Heggerty, which ended in Autumn 2011.

Long carried out a campaign of harassment against his former partner, between March 2012 and November 2012, which included using the phone, text messages, and Facebook. This led to Heggerty leaving Merthyr Tydfil.

Long’s messages including telling Heggerty he would “shoot her”, “burn down her home,” and “have her head kicked in.”

Long even went so far as to vandalising Heggerty’s car with his feet on 10 November 2012. But John Ryan, defending, said: “This is not the first man to have lost his head when the end of a relationship comes.”

Scientific research into trolling support Ryan’s that it is more likely to be women that defriend others on social networking platforms, and the lack of closure for their victims, which can be male or female can have traumatic effects on those whom they have jilted.

Judge Richard Twomlow jailed Kairon Long for 9 months, and ordered a restraining order requiring him not to contact Hannah Heggerty, her mother and sister.

Crime and Disorder Act 1998

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (c.37) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Act was published on 2 December 1997 and received Royal Assent in July 1998. Its key areas were the introduction of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, Sex Offender Orders, Parenting Orders, granting local authorities more responsibilities with regards to strategies for reducing crime and disorder, and the introduction law specific to ‘racially aggravated’ offences. The Act also abolished rebuttable presumption that a child is doli incapax (the presumption that a person between ten and fourteen years of age is incapable of committing an offence) and formally abolished the death penalty for treason and piracy.

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders

The Act introduced a civil remedy called the Anti-Social Behaviour Order (or ASBO). These orders are made against people who have engaged in anti-social behaviour which in the United Kingdom is defined as ‘conduct which caused or was likely to cause alarm, harassment, or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as him or herself and where an ASBO is seen as necessary to protect relevant persons from further anti-social acts by the Defendant’. In England and Wales, the orders are made by the Magistrates Courts and in Scotland by the Sheriff Courts. The provisions of the 1998 Act have since been modified by the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003.

Sex Offender Orders

A Sex Offender Order is a similar concept to the Anti-Social Behaviour Order with the key difference being that it is specifically aimed at those people in society that are deemed “sex offenders”. The Act allows a police officer to approach the Magistrates Court and show that he has reasonable cause to believe that there is a need for an order to be made to protect the public from harm.
The conditions placed in such an order are those that are needed to prevent harm to the public. The order can be made for a minimum of 5 years unless the court upholds a complaint for the order to varied or discharged.

A breach of a Sex Offender Order renders the person to which the order applies, liable for imprisonment, on summary conviction, for up to six months or on conviction on indictment, up to five years and/or a fine.

The act only applies to those people that are defined as a ‘sex offender’ per Section 3(1) of the act or namely that the person has been convicted of an offence under Part I of the Sex Offenders Act 1997, wasn’t found guilty as a result of insanity, or has been cautioned for such an offence and at the time admitted it or has been convicted of a similar offence in any country outside of the United Kingdom and the offence would have been deemed a sexual offence under UK law.

Parenting Orders

A Parenting Order is an order made against the parent(s) of a child which has been given an Anti-Social Behaviour Order, has been convicted of an offence, or the parent has been convicted of an offence under section 443 or 444 of the Education Act 1996. Its intention is that the parent must follow its requirements in order to prevent similar behaviour in their child as that which lead to the conviction/order being made against them. The order can be made for a period not exceeding 12 months. There are restrictions on orders being made that interfere with the parents’ or child’s religious beliefs or that interfere with the times which the parent normally attends work or an educational institution. If the parenting order is breached, the parent(s) could be liable to a fine, not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

Racially or religiously aggravated offences

Sections 28 to 32 of the Act create separate offences for crimes that were aggravated by the victim’s race or religion or presumed race or religion. They did not originally apply to crimes that are aggravated by the offender’s perception of the victim’s membership to a religion but it was amended by section 39 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.

Racially or religiously aggravated assaults

Unlawful wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Section 29(1)(a) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated wounding or infliction of bodily harm. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits an offence under section 20 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 (see grievous bodily harm) which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28.

Section 29(1)(b) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated assault occasioning actual bodily harm. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits an offence under section 47 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 (see assault occasioning actual bodily harm) which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28.

A person guilty of either of these offences is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, or to a fine, or to both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both (s.29(2)).

Common assault

Section 29(1)(c) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated common assault. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits a common assault which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28. This offence is prosecutable either way.

A person guilty of this offence is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine, or to both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both (s.29(3)).

Racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage

Section 30(1) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits an offence under section 1(1) of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 (see also criminal damage) which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28.

A person guilty of this offence is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years, or to a fine, or to both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both (s.30(2)).

Racially or religiously aggravated public order offences

Fear or provocation of violence and intentional harassment, alarm or distress; Section 31(1)(a) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated fear or provocation of violence. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits an offence under section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986 (see fear or provocation of violence) which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28.

Section 31(1)(b) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits an offence under section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986 (see intentional harassment, alarm or distress) which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28.

A person guilty of either of these offences is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine, or to both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both (s.31(4)).

Harassment, alarm or distress; Section 31(1)(c) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits an offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 (see harassment, alarm or distress) which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28. A person guilty of this offence is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale (s.29(3)).

Arrest

Sections 31(2) and (3) formerly provided a statutory power of arrest for offences under section 31(1). They were repealed by section 174 of, and Part 2 of Schedule 17 to, the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.
Racially or religiously aggravated harassment etc.

Harassment

A person is guilty of an offence under section 32(1)(a) if he commits an offence under section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which is racially or religiously aggravated withtin the meaning of section 28. A person guilty of this offence is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine, or to both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both (s.32(3)).

Putting people in fear of violence

A person is guilty of an offence under section 32(1)(b) if he commits an offence under section 4 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which is racially or religiously aggravated withtin the meaning of section 28. A person guilty of this offence is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, or to a fine, or to both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both (s.32(4)).

Scotland

Section 33 amended the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 by inserting a new section 50A. This creates the offence of racially aggravated harassment.

Local authority responsibilities

Each Local Authority[2] in England and Wales was given the responsibility to formulate and implement a strategy to reduce crime and disorder in their area.[3] The Act also requires the local authority to work with every police authority, probation authority, health authority, social landlords, the voluntary sector, and local residents and businesses. Known as Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) in England, and Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) in Wales, the Home Office may require any Partnership to supply details of their community safety arrangements.[4]

Other provisions

Section 34 of the Act abolished the rebuttable presumption that a child (defined as a person under fourteen but over the age of ten) is incapable of committing an offence (doli incapax). Section 36 of the Act abolished the death penalty for all offences of treason and for the offence of piracy with violence (under the Piracy Act 1837), replacing it with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Protection from Harassment Act 1997

The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (c 40) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which, among other things, criminalises and creates a right to protection from stalking and persistent bullying in the workplace.

The Act defines harassment in section 1(1) as a “course of conduct” amounting to harassment and provides by section 7(3) that a course of conduct must involve conduct on at least two occasions. (Originally these occasions needed to involve the same person, but in 2005 the Act was amended by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act so that “pursuing a course of conduct” could mean approaching two people just once.) If these requirements are satisfied, the claimant may pursue a civil remedy for damages for anxiety: section 3(2). The use of civil law means that the standards of evidence are substantially lower than for criminal law, for example permitting hearsay. The requirement of a course of conduct shows that Parliament was conscious that it might not be in the public interest to allow the law to be set in motion for one boorish incident.

Under this Act the definition of harassment is behavior which causes alarm or distress. The Act provides for a jail sentence of up to six months or a fine. There are also a variety of civil remedies that can be used including awarding of damages, and restraining orders backed by the power of arrest. Commentators such as George Monbiot have voiced the concern that the amended Act effectively “allows the police to ban any campaign they please”, and that is has been used to prosecute peaceful protestors.

Employers have vicarious liability for harassment by their employees under section 3 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (see Majrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Trust). For employees this may provide an easier route to compensation than claims based on discrimination legislation or personal injury claims for stress at work, as the elements of harassment are likely to be easier to prove, the statutory defence is not available to the employer, and it may be easier to establish a claim for compensation. Also as the claim can be made in the County Court costs are recoverable and legal aid is available.

Scotland

In Scotland the Act works slightly differently. A jail term of up to five years can be imposed in very serious cases. Civil remedies include damages, interdict and non-harassment orders backed by powers of arrest.

History

The Act resulted from the efforts of Evonne Leonora Von Heussen. A stalking victim herself, she launched the National Association for Victims of Stalking and Harassment (NASH) in 1993, when her then teen-age daughter was stalked by a dangerous character who was known to carry a knife. After Von Heussen found that she could get no help from the police, lawyers, or her local Member of Parliament she began researching anti-stalking laws in other countries. She opened a help line on which she eventually took tens of thousands of calls. She pursued each call with each victim’s MP, and attracted a large amount of media attention.

After several years of effort Von Heussen persuaded the Home Office under Prime Minister John Major to take the issue on as a matter of government policy. She wrote the first draft of the Act and worked closely with ministers and senior civil servants in the Home Office and the Lord Chancellor’s Department as the final version took shape. She advised ministers from her seat in the Under Gallery, on the floor of the House of Commons, during the Second Reading Debate. After Royal Assent she worked with Home Office and Lord Chancellor’s Department in training judges, lawyers, other court personnel, police and voluntary organizations in the use of the Act. She received the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List (1997) for her efforts. She also worked as a consultant on a number of court cases involving stalking and harassment.

The Art of Trolling – Are all ‘trolls’ bad?

If you’re a trolling outsider to the field of trolling you are likely to think that ‘trolls’ are vicious and nasty characters who go online to harass others. This is I’m afraid to say, technically inaccurate.

With high profile cases of ‘R.I.P trolling‘, like the bullying of Natasha MacBryde by Sean Duffy, the harassment of Georgia Varley’s family on Facebook, or the abuse of Bridget Agar by an abusive youth, one might solidly hold this view. Yet it is still mistaken, in a technical sense at least, even if not in the minds of those informed mainly by the media.

Trolling by definition is the posting of inflammatory or offensive messages intended to provoke a response others for humorous effect. That which is abusive and meant to harm is ‘flame trolling’ done by ‘flame trollers’ and that which is entertaining to most is ‘kudos trolling’ done by ‘kudos trollers’.

The people who carry trolling are collectively referred to as ‘Trollers’ and not ‘Trolls,’ by experts at least. The latter of these is simply a type of troller, which is one that takes part in trolling to entertain others and bring some entertainment to an online community.

The technical term for a piece of prosecutable flame trolling is a ‘electronic message fault’ and that which is from kudos trolling which is not prosecutable is an ‘electronic message freedom.’ In order for a piece of flame trolling to be prosecuted it should be “grossly offensive” as opposed to simply offensive, or just provocative.

Reece Messer

Reece Messer, who was 17 at the time he admitted committing trolling, is known as the person who tweeted Tom Daley, following the Olympian failing to get a medal at the 2012 London Oympics when the opportunity was open to him.

As can be seen above, Tom Daley retweeted this so-called grossly offensive message, which Reece Messer was arrested under the Malicious Communications Act 1988 for posting. This retweeting is a type of ‘flooding’ where a person gets their followers to descend on the person who offended them, making them what is called a ‘chewtoy,’ as discussed here. Some people enjoy being a chewtoy, and such people are called Big Men.

The police later issued Messer (formerly using the Twitter account @Rileyy_69) with a harassment warning. In order to receive a harassment warning, one has to admit that one purposely did something to cause ‘harassment, alarm or distress.’ Most cases of genuine harassment never meet the thresholds that the UK’s public prosecutor, the Crown Prosecution Service, set in order for a prosecution to be brought. Most people don’t realise that one does not have to accept a harassment warning either – to do so is an admission of guilt, which would be difficult otherwise for the police to prove. This is what Reece Messer sent to Tom Daley:

you let your dad down I hope you know that

A harassment warning, like Reece Messer seemed forced to accept, means that the person will have that on their criminal record for 100 years, and it cannot be removed without the say so of the Chief Police Constable in the police force area where it was issued. This means that should someone saying something as minor as Reece Messer did get one, then it could mean they will be unable to work with children or vulnerable adults following a standard police check.

Lee Francis Ball

Lee Francis Ball, who was 39 at the time, was convicted of harassment at Cardiff Crown Court after a nine-month long campaign of Internet abuse against his ex partner, including spreading a lured video of them together. Prosecuting, Gareth James said, “When they were together she had agreed recordings be made as part of their sex life but those images were posted on the internet.”

Kevin John Emery

Kevin John Emery of Llantwit Fardre, near Pontypridd, who was 53 at the time, admitted harassment via an Internet website and in text messages.

The prosecution informed the Court that Emery had posted a series of “offensive” messages about McGuinness, resulting in the Court fining Emery £165 and ordering him to pay £100 court costs.

Speaking after the trial Emery said the Court misunderstood the situation, and the use of the term,”messageboard,” was inaccurate, “There were no message board messages per se, but a glitch in wordpress where drafts saved were published without my knowledge,” he said, “These were  deleted immediately I became aware, and were not intended to be offensive, just state the facts for my own reference.”

Emery was also subjected to a restraining order under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 preventing him from mentioning McGuinness directly or by implication on any website, and barring Emery from contacting McGuinness by any means. The case highlighted the problem of lack of awareness of technology in the judiciary and the perceived misuse of such information asymmetry by law enforcement officials. No complaint was reported as being made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission following the trial.

10 Most Used Cyber Bullying Tactics

Cyber bullying is a term used to define recurrent and sustained verbal and/or physical attacks by one or more children towards another child who is unable or unwilling to diffuse the engagement using information and communication technology. Like classic bullying, cyber bullying is harmful, repeated and hostile behavior intended to deprecate and disparage a targeted child.

Bullying used to be confined to schools, neighborhoods or some small geographic location that the bullied child could leave and seek respite. With cyber bullying, the target child has no escape from the taunting and harassment afforded by the internet and mobile digital technology. Given the variety of methodologies cyber bullies use, which continues to expand, provided below are the ten most common.

1. Exclusion

Exclusion is a cyber bullying tactic that is highly effective and indirectly sends a provocative message to the victim child without the need for actual verbal deprecation. As its well-known children and teens are developmentally fixated on being recognized by their peers, the process of designating who is a member of the peer group and who is not included can be devastating to the child.

2. Flaming

Flaming is a term describing an online passionate argument that frequently includes profane or vulgar language, that typically occurs in public communication environments for peer bystanders to witness including discussion boards and groups, chat rooms and newsgroups. Flaming may have features of a normal message, but its intent if designed differently.

3. Outing

Outing is a term that includes the public display, posting, or forwarding of personal communication or images by the cyber bully personal to the target child. Outing becomes even more detrimental to the child when the communications posted and displayed publicly contains sensitive personal information or images that are sexual in nature.

4. E-mail Threats and Dissemination

E-mail Threats and Dissemination is a cyber bully tactic used to inspire fear in the victim child and then informing other members in the peer group of the alleged threat. The cyber bully sends a threatening e-mail to the target child and then forwards or copy & pastes the threatening message to others of the implied threat.

5. Harassment

Harassment is sending hurtful messages to the victim child that is worded in a severe, persistent or pervasive manner causing the respondent undue concern. These threatening messages are hurtful, frequent and very serious. Although sending constant and endless hurtful and insulting messages to someone may be included in cyber stalking, the implied threats in harassment does not lead the child to believe the potential exists the bully may actually be engaged in offline stalking of the target child.

6. Phishing

Phishing is a tactic that requires tricking, persuading or manipulating the target child into revealing personal and/or financial information about themselves and/or their loved ones. Once the cyber bully acquires this information, they begin to use the information to access their profiles if it may be the target child’s password, purchasing unauthorized items with the child’s or parents credit cards.

7. Impersonation

Impersonation or “imping” as a tactic can only occur with the “veil of anonymity” offered by digital technology. Cyber bullies impersonate the target child and make unpopular online comments on social networking sites and in chat rooms. Using impersonation, cyber bullies set up websites that include vitriolic information leading to the victim child being ostracized or victimized in more classic bullying ways.

8. Denigration

Denigration is used in both classic and cyber bullying. Denigration is a term used to describe when bullies send, post or publish cruel rumors, gossip and untrue statements about a child to intentionally damage their reputation or friendships. Also known as “dissing,” this method is a common element and layer involved in most all of the cyber bullying tactics listed.

9. E-mail and Cell Phone Image Dissemination

Not only a tactic used in cyber bullying, but a form of information exchange that can be a criminal act if the images are pornographic or graphic enough depicting under aged children. Children can receive images directly on their phones and then send them to everyone in their address books. Of all cyber bullying methods, this tactic, which serves to embarrass a victim child, can lead to serious criminal charges.

10. Images and Videos

Briefly described in Happy Slapping, the usage of images and video recording has become a growing concern that many communities, law enforcement agencies and schools are taking seriously. Due in part to the prevalence and accessibility of camera cell phones, photographs and videos of unsuspecting victims, taken in bathrooms, locker rooms or in other compromising situations, are being distributed electronically. Some images and videos are emailed to peers, while others are published on video sites.

More information

This article was written by Dr Michael Nuccitelli, whose entry in the Who’s Who of Internet Trolling can be found at this link. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6820469

Lee Anthony Llewellyn

Lee Anthony Llewellyn, who was 39 at the time of his kudos trolling offence, was jailed for 27 months at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court following breaching a restraining order preventing him from contacting his former partner.

Llewellyn telephone his former partner only shortly after she secured a restraining order against him in December 2004. Llewellyn had been in a relationship with the woman between 1998 and 2003, when it ended. Llewellyn had difficulty dealing with this, and the contact he made with his former partner, on more than one occasion, was considered to be harassment.

Llewellyn sent his former partner text messages, making phone calls and turning up unexpectedly at her home. This clearly shows Llewellyn to be a Chatroom bob, as he was infatuated with his former lover, and would do all it took to try to win her over. His interest was more in his relationship with her than her happiness. The long-term nature of his campaign can be considered ‘cyberhickery.’

On 27 February 2005, the former couple talked and Llewellyn was told by his ex lover that the relationship was over. It would seem this then changed Llewellyn from the one extreme of being a Chatroom bob into being an E-Venger. He stormed into his former partner’s home and marched her down the street until a marked police car stopped and he ran off. While still being an E-Venger, he turned up at his former lover’s gome and swang a cycle helmet at her and punched her in the nose.