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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71046
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi, I had a 5 year relationship of which I spent the last 3

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Hi, I had a 5 year relationship of which I spent the last 3 years trying to get out of. I'm a 50 year old divorcee and fell for this seemingly very attractive and personable younger man (13 years age difference). However, he is deeply insecure and jealous and on 3 occasions I had to call the police and he was actually arrested last October and released with a caution. He had slapped me on 3 occasions and damaged my property on 2. Against all my better judgement, and because deep down I wanted to believe that he would change, I felt sad that he had such deep set insecurities or that he had realised his behaviour was unacceptable, I forgave him several times and gave in to his promises that we should be together.

The last incident was in October last year and he was given some sort of order from the police (who took it VERY seriously and were concerned for my safety) that meant that if he contacted me or came to my house he could be arrested. He stopped contacting me but began to contact a good friend of mine asking how I was and was it really over this time? After a few weeks, and after a few drinks with this friend, I ended up speaking to him and ultimately began to see him again "secretly". Needless to say, very quickly the same issues arose (accusations if I didn't answer telephone or txt quickly or was late in meeting him & loads of pressure to make the relationship official and in the open - which I didn't want to do as I knew I'd made a mistake in giving in yet again).

I told him in March that it was over, went to my doctor, got prescribed anti-depressants and I then stopped drinking completely. I have refused to see him since then and blocked his calls, texts and other message apps - I didn't know how to delete him off my emails but wasn't too concerned as they don't show on my phone so I could just send them all straight to another folder and ignore them.

He has resumed his (sometimes several times) daily contact with my friend and I receive several nasty daily emails (some threatening: "your children need to know that you are a liar", "do the right thing and don't renew your golf membership or I will humiliate you for what you have done", " the reason you won't see me is because of your mother and your children who obviously don't want you to be happy", "the police won't support you as you contacted me and they will see that you are a nasty, unfaithful liar").

Now I don't know what I should do. I feel embarrassed that after all the help the police gave me, I did see him again. I am scared that they will involve my children and my ex-husband will find out and there could be problems.

I have tried to ignore the emails and I hoped that he would get bored or move on without my having to actually do anything more.

For the first time in these past few years, I no longer see "how good it could be" or even have any physical attraction anymore and I'm getting on with all the "normal" things I should have been doing - cooking, sorting the house, seeing my friends and family & looking forward to the future.

Is there anything I can do to stop him contacting me any more without actually getting him arrested? I'm always scared I will bump into him and dread what he may say or do. I'm not with anyone else and feel quite vulnerable that one day he may turn up at the house.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is there any reason why you have not contacted the police again please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am scared that my daughters (13 & 14) will then find out that I did secretly see him again and that my ex-husband will also find out. Although I am not worried about custody issues at all, I'm just extremely embarrassed that I have been so stupid and it doesn't exactly set a good example to the girls. Also I was mortified enough to have involved the police before and just feel even more stupid that I went back and gave him yet another chance.
Ok. Thanks.

So, in short, he keeps emailing you?

How many times roughly please?

Have you responded to any?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Since 23 March, over 70 emails. 24 since this Tuesday. I have avoided the golf club but I have 2 ladies competitions this week and he has obviously seen I am playing so it's escalating with the last few emails saying he will be there and will humiliate me. I have sent a total of 8 emails since 23 March initially asking for him to stop and leave me alone, I then reminded him of the police intervention and subsequently said that if he came round to the house (as he said he was going to) either my mother who was here or a neighbour would call the police and it would be out of my hands.

I don't know if I should get a solicitor to write to him, whether I should write saying I've been advised to call the police or what to do. Despite what he has done when we have been alone, he has never done anything publicly - typical bully
Well, the problem with the police intervention is that you have encouraged him to act at variance with their guidance so he probably is getting mixed messages on the point.

Have there been though more than two recent communications to which you haven't responded?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That was exactly my concern re the police. Today there were 7 emails - I did not respond to any. Yesterday there were 2 and I did not respond to either. Tuesday there were 14, 1 of which said he was coming round to the house - I responded to that one saying:

"I don't want to see you. I strongly suggest you don't come round. My mother is popping over after she's been to the doctor. My neighbours or my mother WILL call the police.

W*****, just stop and don't do anything silly. Your emails are disturbing but I can ignore them but believe me I won't ignore any action you take."

So, out of a total of 23 emails, I responded only to the first one on Tuesday, so 22 emails since then without a response from me.
Yes, they are not going to like it. There is no way around it. Its not really your fault. The problem with situations like this is fundamentally this. I'm afraid that genuine victims of harassment and domestic abuse are not the only people who do calls the police to situations that technically fall within it. Some people use the police as a mediation service and that does lead to the frustration of the police.

That doesn't mean that they will not respond to a subsequent report that you make. It will probably affect the way they deal with this in terms of their attitude towards you but they won't refuse to act.

In fairness, you are describing a genuine harassment. There are actually not that many genuine harassments about. i was a police station rep for years before I went to the Bar and I don't think I have ever seen a case where a person just continually contacted another with no encouragement at all on 23 occasions. Mostly harassments just amount to a 'victim' who is contacting her 'stalker' to encouarge contact so that she can complain about it.

The police would probaby give him a harassment warning. The question really is where does that take you. Harassment warnings are very useful but only really if you intend to enforce it.

An alternative is to get a solicitor to write to him. A barrister under public access would actually be much cheaper and have the same impact. That might work. You haven't tried that before.

If that failed and he persisted you could consider suing in civil harassment.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. I will contact a solicitor/barrister tomorrow. I also won't respond to ANY more emails at all - I can't seem to block them, the only option being to move to junk where they will be deleted. I shall continue putting them straight into a separate folder should I need to use them for evidence.

I have made it quite categorically clear that this time it is different so looking at the content of his emails and frequency, I may have no choice but to contact the police again ultimately if he won't stop.

It is reassuring to read your take on genuine harassment - the frequency and vile content and threats in his emails is unacceptable. Yes, I have been particularly gullible, too forgiving and hoping it will all work out in the past. At worst I will look stupid and be treated as a silly woman who should know better - but that is no reason to accept this now. Thank you for helping me put it in perspective.
Well, its not just that. The sheer volume of emails just plain amounts to harassment.

The police probably will take the view that you have been inconsistent but you are not being duplicitous as, quite frankly, many of these ostensible victims are.