What is Stalking?
In 2012, new offences of stalking were recognised and introduced. These include: stalking involving fear of violence and stalking involving serious alarm or distress.
The common behaviours of stalking…
- Following the person
- Constantly contacting or trying to contact the person for any reason
- Posting content that is related to the person
- Spying and watching the person
- Looking at their use of the internet, email, text or other communication methods
- Interfering with items in the person’s possession
If someone does any of the above, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are automatically a stalker. These principles are taken into consideration depending on each situation.
What are the consequences of stalking another person?
If someone is proved to be stalking someone, they could receive maximum 6 months in prison. If someone is guilty of causing fear of violence or serious alarm and/or distress, this could rise to up to 10 years in prison. Restraining orders can also be issued if a victim needs protection. The defendant does not need to be found guilty of a criminal offence in order for a restraining order to be put in place.
What needs to be proved in court?
The prosecution must prove that the series of events validly constitutes harassment and stalking. It is an offence if the series of events causes another person to fear that violence will be used, or that the conduct causes serious alarm or distress, which affects that person’s quality of life. For example, taking a different route, moving houses or changing who they socialise with. This can also affect someone’s physical and mental health.
It is a defence to show…
- The reasoning behind the behaviour was for the prevention or detection of crime
- The behaviour did not breach the rules of the law
- The behaviour was within good reason
How Tuckers Solicitors can help you…
If you are arrested on suspicion of an offence relating to stalking, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. We understand that there are 2 sides to every story, so let us help you with yours. Please contact us on our usual contact details.
We are always available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0845 200 3367 or firstname.lastname@example.org.