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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My friend (M) has been charged (on 20th February 2015) with

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My friend (M) has been charged (on 20th February 2015) with harassment which constituted 4 text messages (non-threatening) and 10 silent phone calls, made from an old phone which she did not use but had loaned to a friend (L) who was on holiday (we live in the Isle of Man and some network providers do not work here). The AP is a colleague of M's who was treating M unfairly which had commenced 18+ months previously and M had requested a transfer to another section. L who also knew the AP and decided to text her and make several (10) silent phone calls as M quite passive about the work situation, only requesting a transfer after a particular incident of aggressiveness which is documented in an email trail to senior managers.
The police (also the OIC previously worked with the AP and M in the same section, approximately 1 year and 1 month respectively. We live in the Isle of Man and it is a small place but there are over 200 officers, is this not a conflict of interest?) made the arrest at 9pm at M's home and phone taken as evidence but no SIM cards were with the phone as M had never had these. M did not ask for legal representation when interviewed at 1am and again at 2am respectively and then charged at 4.30am and then held overnight by police and taken to court at 9.30am the next morning. M has since engaged the services of an advocate who has suggested all evidence is circumstantial. Obviously M entered a not guilty plea and following several court appearances, at PTR on 5th May a trial date was set for 23rd July only for it to be vacated because of a late statement provided by the Prosecutor 3 days before. The statement is from one of M's senior managers stating that M had not put in a formal complaint against the AP but had requested a transfer and had been upset during several conversations held (statement does not state contents of the conversations). Another PTR yesterday culminated in another trial date set for 3rd and 4th December. The Isle of Man does have a low crime rate and cases brought before the courts do seem very petty. I attended court yesterday and it was an absolute farce.
Firstly I would like to know if interviewing timings were necessary and I have been advised that usually in cases such as these a warning is usually given in the first instance and M's advocate has intimated this but this was not forthcoming.
Thank you for your time.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
I am not clear, was the defendant advised or warned of conduct before being charged?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Dear Alex, thank you for your response. The defendant was not warned in person but apparently the AP sent a text advising she had contacted police but as defendant did not have phone in her possession would this constitute as a warning? Also, L who had the phone is now unreachable as she may be in Australia(?) but the Prosecutor seems to be ignoring this. Also the defendant has been charged from 4th February to 20th February when the texts/phone calls to AP were over a 7/8 day period. How is this correct? The defendant also received a semi-abusive text from the phone in question as she had not wanted to meet L as she has 'problems' due to breakdown of her marriage and children living with their father. At the time the defendant was unaware who had sent text.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
I see. The test for harassment is this:
1 Prohibition of harassment.
(1)A person must not pursue a course of conduct—
(a)which amounts to harassment of another, and
(b)which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other.
(2)For the purposes of this section, the person whose course of conduct is in question ought to know that it amounts to harassment of another if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think the course of conduct amounted to harassment of the other.
Therefore if defendant accepts the conduct it seems the defence would be whether it amounted to and whether D knew it was harassment.
You can't stop the authorities prosecuting, no matter how minor it is. I agree, people should just get on with their lives. But you can't stop the prosecution however it can be defended on the above basis.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But is the SIM card not crucial as evidence? Also, if all other evidence is circumstantial it is for the court to prove defendant sent the texts (which she didn't do) isn't it? Also, the matter is so trivial is this not a civil matter?Thank you for your time.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Yes if it is contested. The police can also get records from mobile phone operators. Harassment can be criminal or civil, it is not for you or the courts to decide which venue it is heard.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes the police have records but again this seems circumstantial. If L can be found but she won't admit to sending texts, etc. would that prove to be a waste of time and money to do this? Also, would the authorities have a duty to attempt to obtain a statement or is this for the Defendant to do. Seems very unfair that the authorities have unlimited resources (i.e. taxpayers monies to waste!) and the defendant is left to pay out of their own pocket. If anywhere needs a Police Ombudsman it is the IOM.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
But the Police have to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt. It's circumstantial so it may well be dropped.
I agree it's a waste but you can not stop a prosecution, it's for the authorities to bring and run. You can consider a judicial review of he decision to prosecute but by the time that is heard the trial will be over.
I am sorry that this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No thank you for your time. I'm just disappointed with the Judiciary and in particular the IOM Constabulary who are basically inept at solving real crime (there have been a spate of burglaries on Island recently - this is extremely rare - and no leads) and this smacks of statistics and justifying the existence of over 200 officers.Thank you for your time.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Sadly yes. I am sorry it's not better news,
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