Stalking is a very serious crime.
The offence is similar to harassment but is considered to be more aggressive.
Monan Gozzett has a dedicated team of solicitors who can help people falsely accused of stalking. This blog aims to help define the offence and explain what legal defences are available.
What Is 'Stalking'?
According to the National Institute of Justice, it is:
"A course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated (two or more occasions) visual or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person fear."
Stalking is not legally defined however, the relevant legislation, namely the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, does provide some helpful insight.
It lists a number of examples that indicates the types of behaviour that may amount to an offence of stalking.
1. Following a person
2. Contacting, or attempting to contact, a person by any means
3. Publishing any statement or other material relating or purporting to relate to a person, or purporting to originate from a person
4. Monitoring the use by a person of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication
5. Loitering in any place (whether public or private)
6. Interfering with any property in the possession of a person
7. Watching or spying on a person
A person can be found guilty of an offence of stalking if that person pursues a course of conduct that in fact breaches the rules set out in the act.
Defending False Accusations Of Stalking
If you have been falsely accused of stalking it is likely that you will have already been contacted by the police in order to give your account by way of an interview at the police station. You may have even already been charged with an offence.
In either event, we have fully trained professionals here to assist you throughout the process.
In our experience, obtaining evidence of fact and providing a narrative will go a long way to dismiss any false allegations at an early stage, and will therefore help you protect your rights.
In order to protect your rights, your legal team will set about gathering evidence to counter the false allegations, establish an alibi if you have one and provide a robust defence on your behalf.
We understand that any allegation made against an individual is often a frightening and stressful experience. That, coupled with a breakdown in a key relationship as is often the case surrounding allegations of stalking, can make it a highly emotive time.
Behaviours and actions at these times may not always be viewed as rational, and as a result of this, the complainant may feel vulnerable or threatened, leading them to make a complaint and/or subsequent allegations.
Where applicable, our experts will help provide extensive representations to set out the evidence of fact and provide context surrounding the allegations/offence in order to either minimise the punishment or indeed seek that ‘no further action' is taken’.