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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I think I am going to Jail and very scared right now Over a

Customer Question

I think I am going to Jail and very scared right now
Over a long period of time my ex partner harrassed and caused problems at my work. She vowed to "get me" and i have various emails and voicemails suggesting that was her intention. We stopped fighting and started at least learning to "live in peace" and we no longer live in the same country.
She rang me in tears one day - so as a caring individual I asked her what was wrong - and she said she was going to get fired from her job and couldnt access her email + needed my help - so i agreed to help her. she gave me the user/pass and asked me for the phone number in an email - which i obliged and gave to her that was the end of that. On the way out - i took it upon myself to delete my own email address and emails from her mailbox so she had no way to contact me in future
Fast forward 16 months - and I now have the CPS who want to prosecute me under section 3 of the computer misuse act. I am absolutely terrified as an IT professional that this will ruin my career - i also suffer from autism and had to have a special adult attend with me at the "interview" and a solicitor
I am petrified and alone right now and don't know what to do - the police seem to be determined to prosecute me and simply cant understand that me and my ex had a bad relationship where she stalked followed and caused trouble for me over a long period of time - they only seem to care about her side of the "story"
Can someone advise me on what to do next
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

What would you like to know about this please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi JoWell - firstly is there any technical defense i can put up? this was 16months ago is there actually a "public interest" in prosecuting me when this is clearly a domestic dispute between two peopleAlso if its her word against mine why are they only listening to her side of the story?I am petrified and my career will be ruined if this goes through which is what she has been boasting is going to happen to other people.My life is literally on the line hereThanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Well, there isn't a public interest in prosecuting any domestic. They are all a waste of time and money.

But the current wisdom is that this is in the public interest and they will proceed.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

They are listening to her side of the story because the law compels them to do so. That doesn't mean you will be convicted but that is a matter for the court not the police.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

I'm not quite clear what the allegation is against you.

I suppose she is saying that you accessed her computer without her permission?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the accusation is of mailbox 'hacking' - this woman harassed stalked and made threats to me long After the relationship was over and continually harassed and bullied me via email both to my work and home addresses, if I blocked her she would create a new mailbox and begin emailing again. None of that apparently matters - she gave me her password ***** time so I took it upon myself to delete my own contact information and any emails with my address in it from her mailbox and the police only care about that not that she harassed stalked and bullied me over a period of time and swore on a voicemail which I still have that she would make me pay and to watch my back.How is it in the public interest to criminalise someone of good standing and pursue me - I have not seen her for over 2 years
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Well, whether she acted unlawfully is not the issue here. The issue here is whether you did.

It might be that you can use some of this in your defence but it is not more than that.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is why I hate this country - someone can harass bully and stalk you with impunity but as soon as you bite back the so called law comes down on you like a tonne of bricks to ruin your life!Brilliant so it's in the public interest and there's not much I can do. Read loud and clear
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Well, as I said, domestics are not in the public interest. They are all a waste of money in my opinion. The criminal courts shouldn't be dealing with people's relationship twaddle. But they are.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you think the circumstances will be taken into consideration or do they literally only care about her side of the story? It seems very one sided
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, it is mitigation. It is just not a defence necessarily.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there no defence here at all? Literally so fed up of hearing about this woman - it feels as though the police have a bone and won't let it go - we haven't seen eAchother in 2 years and this all happened 16 months ago shouldn't there be some kind of common sense applied?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Well, you deny doing it without her permission so that is a defence.

But you are trying to raise essentially the argument that she should not have complained because she has misbehaved too. That is not a defence.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One final query on this
If I get a guilty conviction have you any idea what kind of sentence I am likely to endure?Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
do they take mitigating circumstances into consideration - like if someone harasses and stalks you over a long period of time to the point where you will do anything to stop them contacting you - will that be taken into consideration ?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

I can't really say what you are facing from this information. There's just not enough here to comment.

They will take into account mitigation. The only problem here is that your mitigation might not be accepted essentially because she called the police first.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here is what it says ::CPS who have authorised four charges under the computer misuse Act; one under section 3 for the sending of the spoof email on the 25th October 2015, 2 under section 3 for the deleting of the emails on the 27th and 28th October 2015 and one charge under section 1 for accessing the account between the 23rd October to the 28th October 2015.I have very substantial evidence catalogued over a long period of time prior to this whole thing exploding
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

If it is the computer misuse act only then the sentence will not be substantial. Probably only a fine or a low-level community order.

The risk would be if they used more serious charges.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thankyou Jo that puts my mind at ease somewhat.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No problem.

Please remember to rate my answer. All the best