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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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As leader of a district council I am subject to criticism

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As leader of a district council I am subject to criticism but I am subject to what I consider harassment by an anonamous troll using the comments centre on a local newspaper electronic site. He is making continual reputation damaging statements about me whilst retaining ananomity. What advice can I get to make this person desist on his attacks that are now having a detrimental affect on my family.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

How long has this being going on? Also, have you reported him to anyone?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For four to five years but now getting far worse and regular
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You can check by accessing the Christchurch Echo newspaper site. Go to the story on Beach Huts and note Skydriver.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. Thank you also for the live phone call request; I am in court for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

This conduct could potentially amount to harassment, which could be both a civil matter and a criminal one. The law states that a person must not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another and which he or she knows or ought to know amounts to harassment. Although there is no definition of what specifically amounts to harassment, it would usually include alarming a person or causing them distress and must have occurred on at least two occasions.

Under criminal law, and if this is reported to the police who then take action, the punishment for harassment can be imprisonment and/or a fine. A court may also impose a restraining order for the purpose of protecting the victim.

In addition to criminal action, a civil claim can also be brought against a person who is alleged to be guilty of causing harassment. The courts would award compensation to the victim, something that is unlikely to happen if this is pursued as a criminal issue.

So in the first instance the police can be contacted and this matter reported to them as harassment. However, they will not often get involved in trivial disputes so if they believe that this is not serious enough they could refuse to help and advise you that this is a civil matter. In such circumstances, the victim can warn the harasser that their actions are being treated as harassment and that unless they refrain from such behaviour in the future they will be reported to the police and legal action under harassment legislation taken against them.

You cannot force the newspaper to reveal who the person is but they can do s if the police are involved and ask them to provide details about them.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks I have reported the matter to the Police and requested the Echo to remove the comments.

Great, hope this works, all the best.