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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My son's mobile number has been put onto a gay dating website

Resolved Question:

My son's mobile number has been put onto a gay dating website without his knowledge or permission, we believe we can identify the culprits, is there any action we can take against them?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How do you know they are responsible?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

A group in his class at college is know to have been involved in "Banter" and two of them have taunted his girlfriend on facebook messenger

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Has any one person admitted to doing this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No this has happened within the last few hours, I have already changed his number and I want to stop this juvenile behaviour before it becomes another headline about trolling.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
How old are they?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

around 17

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.
You could argue it amounts to harassment as it encourages indirect contract of a vexatious nature.
The problem here is that you cannot easily identify any responsible person individually and also there is only one incident. For harassment you need a course of conduct.
There are other offences. Malicious communication doesn't really apply. There may be a public order offence in the act of posting once.
Whether the police would be interested is another matter of course.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So does this mean there is nothing we can do until itgets out of hand, I will contact the police but they very often don't help those that need it

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Generally speaking the law punishes rather than prevents.
One incident is not enough for harassment so there wouldn't be any point in suing. I suppose also they could argue it was all jovial. I note they do seem to be raising that. The trouble with British humour is that it is mostly about placing your friends in embarrassing situations. That might succeed while the number of incidents are low. It is not likely to succeed if they carry on.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69516
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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