Harassment, under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, is very broadly defined and can involve a range of conduct.
The law states that a person must not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another, and which he/she knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other.
In order to constitute a ‘course of conduct’, there would need to be at least 2 occasions of harassing behaviour. This may be difficult to prove where they occur far apart, or are trivial in nature.
If the allegation involves putting someone in fear of violence, this may constitute a more serious offence, which can be heard in the crown court.
Stalking, is now a specific offence. Examples of how the offence can be committed include: following a person; contacting, or attempting to contact a person by any means; publishing material relating or purporting to relate to a person; monitoring the use by a person of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication; loitering in any place (whether public or private); interfering with any property in the possession of a person; watching or spying on a person.
We have extensive experience in defending harassment and stalking allegations. We also understand that allegations are sometimes made after the breakdown of a relationship, in order for one party to gain an advantage in family court proceedings – for example those involving access to children.