I got a tradesman to fit a new pump in my garden hot tub. He's done work on my property before. I don't know him that well, but have had a friendly customer - tradesman relationship with him for a few months.He made a complete bodge of the repair - and seriously damaged the jaccuzzi and I text him saying I wouldn't pay his invoice until he made good.
He replied with abusive texts. Last night I emailed him a courteous, firm and factual letter, setting out the whole situation.
This morning he replied making a load of lurid allegations that I had been sexually harrassing him, and threatened to make a complaint against me if I took my claim any further.
My local police have said they are interested in the email, and want to know more.
But I'm hesitant about taking the next step without knowing what I might be letting myself in for.
His allegations are absurd, preposterous, laughable even ... but worrying.
Here's the relevant extracts - his references to 'emails and texts' from me are completely false. None exist.
'After yesterday's refusal from yourself to make payment for work carried out by myself I was relieved.... Relieved that I no longer will be working for you.... The continual Sexual Harassment from yourself has been very tiresome and something that i should never have had to been subjected to by yourself on more than 15 times.... Your continued attempts to 'give me a massage in your hot tub, to massage the lactate from my muscular legs....' have not been solicited from myself and have been declined at every advance from yourself as politely as to not be offensive by myself.... Yet you do not seem to understand the word 'No' and every time i have had to visit you have brought it up repeatedly... Even after i informed you i was seeing a woman and we were going out at the weekend you asked a couple of times after this.... I should not have to be subjected to this level of sexual harassment from a customer ever.... Stop harassing me, do not contact me again as i am relieved to no longer be working for you.
If you wish to take this further i have a history of your texts and emails trying to get me in your tub that i will use for a sexual harassment claim against you.
No absolutely nothing. I have all texts and emails I have sent to him - they are purely friendly contact between tradesman and customer. Nothing of this nature exists.
I told the police I had received an email that contained a threat, and they asked for more info. But I wanted to speak to a lawyer first.
What should do? If I ignore him, he may see this as weakness and try to do more damage.
Or should I just ignore the threat and press on with the civil claim?
Or get my solicitor to send him a warning letter?
OK that's really helpful, thanks. I think I'll get a solicitors letter - can I engage you to do this (not as a justanswer expert! - obviously a professional engagement). I wanted to hit him with something quickly ... I fear my own solicitor will take ages even providing an appointment.I was wondering whether a warning under the Malicious Communications Act 1988
OK cool. I'm in Chichester, west sussex. A suggestion of someone who could move quickly would be helpful.
Really grateful for your help, Jo.
thanks,. do you know a public access barrister in this area?