Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
What do you hope to achieve in this situation?
I would like her to stop harassing me and my wife to remain in the dark
ok let me get my response ready please
You have correctly identified that this conduct is likely to amount to harassment. The relevant legislation that deals with harassment is The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 in civil cases and The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 in criminal cases. The law states that a person must not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another and which he or she knows or ought to know amounts to harassment. Although there is no definition of what specifically amounts to harassment, it would usually include alarming a person or causing them distress and must have occurred on at least two occasions.
Under criminal law, and if this is reported to the police who then take action, the punishment for harassment can be imprisonment and/or a fine. A court may also impose a restraining order for the purpose of protecting the victim.
In addition to criminal action, a civil claim can also be brought against a person who is alleged to be guilty of causing harassment. The courts would award compensation to the victim, something that is unlikely to happen if this is pursued as a criminal issue.
So in the first instance the police can be contacted and this matter reported to them as harassment. You do not necessarily need evidence and your verbal report could suffice, or you could keep any future evidence of her communications and use these. The issue is they will not often get involved in trivial disputes so if they believe that this is not serious enough they could refuse to help and advise you that this is a civil matter. In such circumstances, the victim can warn the harasser that their actions are being treated as harassment and that unless they refrain from such behaviour in the future they will be reported to the police and legal action under harassment legislation taken against them.
Could a cease and desist letter be used in this case?
you can send one but it still does not guarantee she will stop, it is just a warning really, same as any of the other options above
I assume I would need to instruct a solicitor to write one
No you do not have to, it can still be valid if sent by you
But carry more gravitas from a solicitor?
well yes possibly, if someone gets a letter from a solicitor they may pay more notice than if it was sent by an individual, but legally it does not make a difference
Ok, thank you Ben
You are most welcome, all the best