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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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I was arrested a few weeks ago for ‘stalking without

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I was arrested a few weeks ago for ‘stalking without fear/alarm/distress’. I have been released under further investigation as the police look through my electronic equipment. During the interview my solicitor read a statement suggesting that everything was in the context of the relationship.A colleague and I had been having an affair for two years. About six months into the affair she fell pregnant with her husband’s child. Throughout the last 18 months I supported her and was there for her as she needed emotional and mental support. She continued to lie to him and expected me to do the same with my partner, which I did. I have always been an honest person and since she I started the affair, I have wanted to show some courage, to tell my partner, ‘own up’ and face the consequences of our actions. Yet, I haven’t, as the person I was having an affair with has never wanted me to. In the last month or so, both of us have become very depressed and down as the ongoing reality gets harder and harder based on these unsustainable lies. About three weeks ago we were arguing in the car and she became hysterical. I grabbed her wrist for about one second to help calm her. s soon as she told me that she felt physically scared of me, I immediately apologised and told her how mortified I was (evidenced on a text message). The following week got very emotional again and I changed my conduct based on what she said - I got out of the car and walked around calmly rather than engaging in any kind of slanging match. Two weeks ago she asked me ‘to let her go’. I said I would but that it wasn’t that easy as she was still expecting me to lie to my partner and ‘keep the lies for our peace’. There were back and forth text messages and then she disappeared and I continued to try and contact her via all forms of private messaging, emails, phone calls, etc. I had reason to believe her phone was damaged/out of range, she had never actually said stop contacting me and we have been in the position of giving each other ‘space’ for a day or two in the past. It totalled around 100 attempted calls/messages over 6 days. My attempts to contact her were all with the intention (there is proof on the messages themselves) of calmly sorting out next steps in terms of how we go our separate ways but how I would ‘want’ to tell my partner and come clean. I also emailed her with a fore-warning saying I was going to drop of a book at her house under the pretence that she had a missed a meeting (we are work colleagues) with a request for her to check her emails. However, after those 6 days I was arrested under the stalking charge. She has given a statement saying that over the last 18 months, after she got pregnant, she has remained in a relationship with me out of fear and that I threatened to release intimate images/videos of us together (she is also claiming I never asked for permission to take these images). I do however have quite a lot of email and video ‘proof’ that these things simply aren’t true!So my key question is are the phone calls and messages/dropping off the book enough to convict regardless of context, content and my intent?Thank you so much in advance.

Hi, welcome to JustAnswer. My name is*****’m a barrister with 12 years of experience and I am happy to help with your question today.

So, in short, you phoned her 100 times with no response?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I text messaged her around 80 times and phoned about 20 times. It was over 6 days and was quite typical of our relationship. She never actually asked for me to stop contacting.

Did you receive a response from her?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No. The first I knew that she had received anything from me was when I was arrested.

Thank you.

This does not sound like stalking. It sounds more like basic harassments than anything else. However, they could charge you on that basis. On the face of it that many calls with no response is harassment at the very least.

On your point of context, you are entitled to give your explanation. Whether the jury accepted is another matter. I think that if you remain charged with stalking then you should really be fighting it. Nobody wants a conviction for stalking. Whether the jury accepts your evidence is another matter of course.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Morality aside, it is ironic that all my attempts at communication were actually about maintaining the secret as that is what she wanted (the text messages will show this) and the complete opposite of what she has accused me of in terms of threatening to release images to her partner unless she remained in a relationship with me. At no point have I ever threatened this, even when it became incredibly acrimonious at the end. Hopefully the evidence of texts and emails I have will show that I was all about doing this ‘right’ and facing the consequences of our actions by building courage and discussing it with our partners when we were ready. As I say, please forgive me for the morality issues regarding the fact we had an affair in the first place.Am I right in thinking that as a summary only offence, if I was indeed to be charged with ‘Stalking without fear/distress/violence’, this would take place in a magistrates court if it does indeed go to trial?The officer in charge of the case has suggested that when my phone is back from the forensics team they will invite back in for interview with my legal rep. At this point will there be any opportunity to discuss with the police the context, content and intent based on what they find or will they only be interested in the fact there are that many messages and that I dropped of that book? Will the context/content/intent only be for the court?Thanks again.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi againAlso, is it advisable to instruct my solicitor to present the police with the emails I referred to earlier that I believe help my case as a new line of enquiry/evidence to show my innocence? Or would I just take copies to the station if /when I’m asked to go back for interview?Thanks.

No.

It would be better to have had a solicitor in police interview and make a no comment interview.

Nothing can be done about that now.

There is no sense in producing these emails. They will just seize them and use them to support other charges.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you.So, just to keep the emails and use them as necessary - as guided by my solicitor - if the case goes to trial?

Yes, leave this to your solicitor. If she is being duplicitous then he may not support prosecution anyway

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok, that all makes sense, thank you.

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok, will do. Thanks for the information and advice.

Thank you.

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Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi JoI have one further question - my electronic equipment was seized by the police. On a few occasions, we took photos and videos of ourselves being intimate. In her statement, the person who has accused me has stated that whenever I filmed us, I never sought her permission - she would just 'go along with it' out of fear of me releasing previous images of us to her partner. She has also stated that I threatened to release these image/videos if she didn't continue in a relationship with me.However, this is not true.
- I have evidence of her asking me to film us and saying how much she liked in those situations from a downloaded social media chat and even a short video clip of her saying she can't wait for us to do new videos.
- There are indeed a few photos/videos on my phone but were consensual and I did ask her permission.
- There is no evidence whatsoever of me ever threatening to release the images (there is evidence however of me saying things that directly contradict such conduct. e.g. saying that she should only talk to people about us when she feels ready, etc).So I suppose my question is once the forensic team have analysed my electronic equipment (there are only things on the phone) will there be any grounds for them to say anything based purely on my having those image/videos but without any evidence of threats or unwilling participation in the filming from my accuser?Thanks again, you have been very helpful so far.

is she saying that she didn't know devices were recording?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No, it doesn’t say that in her statement, just that ‘he would never ask permission, he would just do it. She felt she could not tell him not to for fear of what he would do’. However, whenever we filmed she absolutely knew they were recording and encouraged me to do so - I have transcriptions of her from social media chats with me asking to be filmed/enjoying watching the videos, etc.

I think she is trying to argue lack of consent.

One could argue that this amounts to submission rather than concern that would need to be communicated to you in some way.

Hang on to the transcripts. The more she lies the easier it is to prove that she is lying.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok, thanks again for the info and advice.

No problem. All the best