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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 78083
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Can malicious, offensive, abusive and threatening emails &

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Can malicious, offensive, abusive and threatening emails & texts sent by a wife to their husband constitute an offence under the Malicious Communication Act 1988? Are you aware of any cases where such a prosecution has been made?
JA: Where are they? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Dorset, UK
JA: What steps have they taken so far?
Customer: If you mean the husband; none specifically in relation to a long catalogue of malicious communications, although the wife in question was arrested and give a Police caution for physical assault against her husband 3 years ago.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I think that sums it up!

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.

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi Jo, hoping the question raised is clear enough...

Thanks for the information

You really don’t need a phone call and it will increase costs.

There is no reason that the malicious communications act cannot be used for domestic situations and it commonly is.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Remember that it has to be extremely offensive though not just objectionable and obnoxious.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi Jo, Thanks. Where would one find details of any precedent cases of such offences being successfully prosecuted against a wife or husband? Of course much depends on the interpretation of 'extremely offensive'!, but presumably precedent cases may be helpful in seeing what the courts think on this.

It wouldn't be reported unless it was appealed but domestics are prosecuted all the time under this statute.

There may be public interest considerations in not prosecuting but that is a different point.

I really dont think anybody is going to tell you this doesn't apply to domestics.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok, thanks. Do you have an idea of the range of outcomes of such cases; if successful, for example, what penalties are normally applied? In what type of Court are such cases heard? Are they heard in The Family Court, for example? One final question; would a successful prosecution under this heading, whatever the penalty may be, have any influence or bearing on how the Family Courts may determine a divorce settlement.

Oh probably just a fine. It is the fact of the conviction that would be a deterrent.

I don't know anything about family work. It is not my area.