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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70404
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Me and my girlfriend recently decided to end things before

Customer Question

Me and my girlfriend recently decided to end things before Christmas and as a sign of respect to one another decided to have some down time and meet up in the new year to decide on a way forward. She entered into a new relationship in that time and did not let me know. Obviously I was disappointed and subsequently talked to her once I found out about her relationship. When we met in early late Jan early Feb she completely changed her mind set and told me she has feelings for me in an intimate manner. I took the following weekend to assess this and decided to give it another go with her. Instead she told me she didnt want to know me and said some distasteful things. I tried to reason with her, however, she continued to act as though nothing happened. After exchanging some further dialogue I was quite annoyed and sent some text messages questioning her morals and ethics and asked her to be honest to her new partner as to what happened. Instead she has responded saying if I ever contact her again she will report me for harrasment. Does the fact I am seeking answers from her without being abusive or aggressive actually amount to harassment?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

How many times have you contacted her without a response please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We only had a lunch together this wednesday and she said some pretty harsh things to me. I was annoyed and therefore I sent her some text messages on wednesday to tell her some home truths on how she is acting and then I left it on thursday. Today I sent her a message that I wont say anything to her new partner even though she had wronged and wished her luck for the future. She responded saying she didnt care what I said and threatned to report me for harassment even though I have not been abusive or aggressive.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
OK.

So how many have there been ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Since wednesday I have messaged her a total of 4 times. 3 messages were all on wednesday one after another due to limits on character. Amd the final one was today this morning.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Has she responded to any? Aside from the recent one?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No she did not. She only responded to my message from today.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the information and the time.

I am sorry but I cannot give you good news then. I’m afraid you are in difficulty here.

There is an argument that this does amount to harassment. The harassment legislation only requires two or more acts of contact with no response.

You don't need to be making threats to otherwise sending unpleasant messages to be harassing a person. Even just repeated contact is enough. The classic example is the unwanted suitor who will not accept a rejection.

That said, all the police will do if she does make a report is give you a harassment warning. That is not a finding of guilt. It amounts to no more than a police warning that further acts of contact will amount to harassment. As long as you don't make contact there will be no consequences.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have no intention to contact her again. I would like to know, however, if I am in a public place and she happens to be there am I breaking her request to not contact her as sometimes we may end up at the same restaurant for example?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Generally you wouldn't be in breach of an order if you met by default.

Its only a breach if you are deliberately attending a place where you know she will be and that is always hard to prove.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just find it bizarre that people cannot try to understand why things have happened they way they have without crying harassment. Is there no room to talk about why people have been wronged? Besides she only told.me today she was feeling harassed.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Well, a sensible balanced woman probably wouldn't complain of harassment.

Unfortunately you are dealing with a person willing to waste the resources of the police on this twaddle.

For what its worth, I don't see the public interest in the scarce resources of the criminal courts being wasted on domestics either.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Agreed. So what do you suggest I do now? I am worried that if I am in the same public place as her she may try to manipulate this as an act of harassment. In addition, if I work close by her location of work how does this impact me.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Just do nothing.

Don't have anything to do with her.

Of course, she could make false allegations. Plenty of people do. If she does the police will just give you a police warning anyway.

As long as you don't speak to her you are not harassing her.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They will give me a warning without proving anything? This is very worrying as it seems I dont have rights to defend myself in this instance if she decides to do so. I have never done this before and just because she makes a false allegation I may suffer as a consequence.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes. Its not a finding of guilt.

You don't have rights to refuse a police harassment warning.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok thanks - finally is there anything I can do to tell her to not harass me or contact me further?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
If she does contact you then you can report it to the police and she will get a harassment warning too.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What do I do in the event that my ex decides to spread false rumours about me even though I no longer keep in contact with her? What rights do I have if she harasses me in this manner?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Not very many to be honest.

In short, if she starts saying things that are untrue you can sue her in defamation but thats not really an accessible action for most people because of the cost.

You can sue her in civil harassment if she makes a repeated number of allegations. You will find a very informative article upon it here

http://www.1itl.com/news/270/

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok thanks. Am I at a liberty to politely tell her to stop doing these repeated harassments before I take legal action? And furthermore, am I able to tell her partner the truth about what has happened between us? I feel that he ought to know the truth. Therefore is me contacting her partner still harassing her?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Not if you are on bail conditions of non contact.

One option is to get a solicitor to write to her. Although that does technically amount to indirect contact its not the type of contact that is ever considered a breach of bail.

An alternative is to sue her now as actually it probably would assist the criminal case if you did but the trouble is that if you take any of those steps then she will probably turn up to give evidence against you.

The only way a small person can show that they have power is to refuse to agree to a reasonable request.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well she has not reported anything as yet. But what about the truth that her partner ought to know? And all of this is highly unfair as she has decided to use the harassment card on me, however, I cant tell her to stop harassing me because I cannot contact her? I just dont understand why the law works in this way.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, sorry. I got this mixed up with another answer. This is the young lady who keeps making threats to report you.

It depends then if you want to bear the cost. If she is making allegations to other people that are untrue then that is harassment but the police won't act upon it. You can sue in the civil courts but there is cost.

That said, if you sue first she will struggle to use the police as a mediation service. The point of a civil action usually is to get a finding against the vexatious accuser and then send it to the constabulary with a request that they consider this before any arrests are made.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry - my question asked what can I do if her partner decides to know the truth about what happened between us? Am I permitted to tell him the truth? And secondly am I permitted to politely tell her to stop harassing me if she decides to harass me? too?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
You are both free to tell the truth to anybody you like.

Given the circumstances its not a good idea to contact her.

Just ignore her and sue her if she continues.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok many thanks for you help on this mattwr. Would like to close this out now as I have no further information I require. How do I close this out?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Just dont reply and that will be fine.

All the best
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok thanks - one final question as it comes to mind. Am I alone permitted to contact her partner and tell him the truth about what happened even though she is hiding the truth? I want to ensure that I am not harassing her by telling someone the truth they ought to know.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
There is an argument that amounts to indirect contact.

Just dont have anything to do with her. There's a 50% chance that it was a hollow threat anyway.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Im unclear as to your first sentence. Previously you mentioned the truth can be told to anybody but now that saying so amounts to indirect contact. I would like to take yiur advice as there is a guy who deserves to know the truth but cant bscause saying so results in indirect harassment. Surely the moral aspect deserves a chance here?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, as I have said, making contact with him would amount to making indirect contact with her.

Harassment is not very complicated really. It just takes its normal English meaning. If you contact him then he will tell her and thats harassment.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok thanks - but there is nothing preventing me from saying the truth to my friends and others if I am asked is there? Or does this bizarre law prevent me from speaking freely about truthful events.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, it depends. This is a simple distinction that is obvious to anybody actually involved in events.

You can say what you like to people unless you are deliberately singling out people with the intention that they report back to her.