How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

my boy was arrested for sending unwanted text messages. police

This answer was rated:

my boy was arrested for sending unwanted text messages. police recovered a mobile phone but it had no sim card in it. the alleged victim has kept the mobile number the messages were coming from. can police find out which sim card has been used in a mobile phone via its imei number? it is suggested that he bought a pay as you go sim card, sent the text then destroyed the sim. also, can police check where a text or phone call came from and pin point it to a certain address? julie
How did he come to have this phone?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

it was his old phone

I am sorry but they can track which make and model of phone the Sim has been used in. That is how insurance companies can ascertain when a Sim is used in a different phone.

Also, it is usually possible to tell the user of any particular phone. Although it is never possible to prove the subscriber of a pay as you go phone, it is possible to raise evidence of the user by means of the calls and texts being made.

In addition, cell site evidence can show pretty accurately the location of the phone at the time of its use.

Whether they are going to bother getting this type of evidence is another matter. It depends on the severity of the substantive offence. If this is just a low level juvenile harassment then they are not going to waste this level of resources upon it.

Sorry if thats bad news.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

apparantly, the victim has deleted the messages. although kept the number they came from. is it possible the police can still retreive the messages? could he still get done for sending messages if there is none to show?

Yes, the messages can be easily retrieved. That isn't expensive or time consuming to do.

Whether they would or not is a different consideration. If this is a low level harassment then it would be surprising if they were willing to do so. If its more serious then possibly they would.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

this isnt looking too promising for him then. apparantly the victim received texts calling him names and also further texts were sent to his girlfriend. all of which were basically saying that he hated them both. and called them swear word names. what is the likely sentence? community service/ a fine? slap on the wrist?

Whats he been arrested for? Harassment?

Delighted to continue with this but please rate my answer.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

your answer i will rate as excellent. thank you. i think he was arrested for stalking/harrassment.

Its quite unlikely they will forensically examine a phone for a low level harassment.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

so what is likely to happen? will he have to go to court?

If he denies the offence then he can't be cautioned at the police station so they might charge him depending on the evidence they have.

If they can't prove it then they will have to NFA.

They might just give him a harassment warning although its surprising they didn't do that straight away.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

what is NFA? the police said they have a cctv of him buying the top up for that particular sim card. and that they have already traced the text messages as having come back to his address. is this enough evidence to charge him?


No further action

If they have taken this amount of action against him then probably this isn't a low level harassment.

This evidence does tend to suggest that he sent the texts which might be sufficient.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972. IM SORRY THIS IS LONG WINDED, BUT I THINK ITS BEST I TRY GIVE YOU AS MUCH EVIDENCE AS I CAN.i have spoken to my boy at length about the situation. he says his car had been getting continuously vandalised. anything from scratches to having the wheel nuts loosened to having the tyres slashed. he didnt know who was doing it but suspected it was his ex partner. he spoke to a local guy known only as stan if he could find out who had been doing this. stan is apparantly the local man of disrepute who will sort out situations for a fee. my boy paid stan £50 to put out feelers but at no point did he say to harrasss or intimidate anyone. just find out who had been causing the damage. he had already reported the crimes to police but nothing came of it. stan said my boy was to buy him a phone top up so he could make calls on his behalf. my boy did at the local store. this was caught on cctv and the police have this evidence. he gave stan the top up card and his ex partners mobile number.left it at that. stan then asked if he could stop at my boys house so he could keep watch on his car. my boy said yes. over a period of about 4 days stan kept coming and going saying he was not getting very far with his investigation but would keep persuing the matter. next thing the police are knocking on my boys door saying that his ex partner had made a complaint of text harrassment. and could they have all mobile phones in the house. he handed over all old mobiles and his current i phone. he knew that the phone stan had been using was not on his premises as stan took it with him. so police dont actually have that phone. he told this information to the police.. so his only involvement is that he did buy the top up, nothing else. and he said he must stress at no point did he want anybody harrassed or intimidated.

unfortunately, one of the old phones, that the police have taken, my boy has admitted (only to me, not the police) he did previously, as far back as early last year, send abusive text to his ex partner as he suspected and subsequently proved she was having an affair. he did buy and top up various sim cards for this phone to send messages to his ex partner. he has since destroyed all these sim cards. but i think by your previous response the sim cards can be traced and text messages retreived via this old broken phones imei number any how.

this is as far as we have got. my boy was taken to the police station and questioned under caution. he was given bail and asked to return to the police station in 6 weeks as police wanted to gather as much evidence as they could.

what is likely to be the outcome? will it go to court? if so, what will happen? could he get a jail sentence for it? a fine? comminity service?

he has no convictions before.


Ok. So this is not a low level harassment. This is top end harassment possibly a blackmail. There's no prospect of a fine then and he will be lucky to escape custody.

Which charge would be preferred depends on the nature of the messages that were sent about which we wont know if his agent sent them.

They can trace old Sims although generally the mobile phone companies will no longer have them after 12 months.

I suppose though that if his account is right then the cell site evidence should put the phone at another location than with him but you have to give the Crown a reason to consider cell site evidence and I suppose he has made a no comment interview.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

for JOMO1972 he said he answered all questions they asked with the truth. he told them he had bought the sim card and topped it up and gave them to stan. he never told police about the fact that he had previously sent unwanted text last year (they never asked) altho these were just horrid messages saying i know you having an affair and things like that. but the texts stan has sent apparantly said things a lot worse like i know where you live and using a lot of swear words. stan spent a couple of days sleeping at my boys house so some of the texts willl put them as being sent from his house. he said he stayed there so he could keep watch on his car.

Ok. I have to say that overall my advice would have been to offer a no comment interview with maybe a prepared statement.

I suppose he doesn't know what messages were sent?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972. He says they were things like ''i hate you.''and ''are you seeing xxxxxxx ?'' and even said ''i dont want to harm you or hurt you i just want to know what is going on with you andxxxxx. '' at no point did hhe threaten or send anything to say he would harm the said victim.

I meant the ones that were sent by the other person?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

the ones stan sent... they say that 'i know what you have been doing as i have been watching you' and 'i hate you for what you have been doing and i will prove its you thats been doing bad things you twxx' and 'you are a cxnt and should watch your back cos i see you wherever you go'


Thats not a blackmail but its probably going to be a S4 harassment Im afraid.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

for jomo1972, this stan person seems to have disappeared. if we cannot find him, or even if we do, he would have to admit having sent the texts, would it be stan that was in trouble or my boy too?

If I am wholly honest, I suspect the police are saying that Stan doesn't exist.

In any event, since he did act at your son's direction they wouldn't drop the case against your son and prosecute him necessarily. They would prosecute both on a joint enterprise basis or possible Stan for the main offence and your son for incitement or assisting.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

yes the police did suggest that stan does not exist and he was made up to get himself off the hook. and basically pass the blame to another person. he said some of his mates had met this stan but police will suggest that they are lying. if police do prosecute for incitement or assisting is that as serious as actually sending the text?

Yes, pretty much. There are some cases where its more serious. There isn't really much difference in doing an unlawful act yourself and getting another person to do it.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

ok thank you

No problem.

All the best.