Category Archives: Comment

Why Carina Trimingham deserved better

Carina TriminghamI have been trying for ages to do a piece about Trimingham v Associated Newspapers which was of interest because, albeit late in the day, she amended her claims to include one of harassment under the Protection of Harassment Act 1997 in addition to invasion of privacy.

The judgment is so long and detailed that it was very hard both to summarise effectively and also to include in a post of reasonable length, a discussion of some aspects which troubled me. Thankfully, I don’t need to worry about summarising any longer because the excellent Gervase de Wilde has done it for me on the equally excellent Inforrm’s Blog.

Taking that piece as read, I will focus on some of the rationale of the decision which I consider to be wrong and therefore troubling if it is going to be relied on in other cases. It should be noted that I do not manage to do this at reasonable length … Continue reading

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Filed under Cases, Comment, Harassment

A flawed approach?

Puzzle pieces

Viewing only pieces?

The case of King v Medical Services International Ltd [2012] All ER (D) 27 (Apr) (not yet on Bailii) is a good example of how difficult it is for claimants to jump all the hurdles which exist in psychiatric injury cases; and of how a course of conduct is still being viewed on an incident by incident basis and not as a whole.

The claimant was an executive manager in the defendant’s hospital. She had no previous psychiatric history but in August 2006, suffered a mental breakdown which she ascribed to harassment and bullying at work by one of her colleagues.

She described a pattern of behaviour supported by some 45 incidents over about 3½ years which amounted to ‘over-familiarity, innuendo and inappropriate physical conduct; use of intemperate and aggressive language; personal and professional humiliation; disrespectful, intimidating, pedantic and undermining behaviour; veiled threats and blackmail.’ Continue reading

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New Stalking Offences

Following amendments to the Protection of Freedom Bill, the promised legislation to make stalking a specific criminal offence is close to becoming a reality. Amendments passed on 19 March will introduce new sections in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 to create two separate offences of stalking.

One, under a new s2A will be a lower level offence of stalking causing fear or alarm. The second, under s4A, is a more serious offence of stalking causing either a fear of violence or serious alarm or distress which has a substantial adverse effect on someone’s daily activities.

The offence under s2A will be triable only in the Magistrates Court while the s4A offence will be triable either way but is expected to be sent to the Crown Court in the majority of cases. Continue reading

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Litigation may be harassment

Crown Court and County Court in Oxford.

Image via Wikipedia

A recent successful judicial review is not only an example of why there is a view (which I don’t share) that a new offence of stalking is needed but also shows how failures to prosecute effectively may be challenged.

In R (on the application of Waxman) v Crown Prosecution Service [2012] EWHC 133 (Admin) which is not on BAILII yet, Claire Waxman successfully challenged the CPS decision to drop the prosecution of her stalker, Elliot Fogel, and was awarded damages for its failure to take proper measures to protect her. Continue reading

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Why the abolition of success fee recoverability will NOT be retrospective

Retro image

Not Retro at all

A view has been circulating that the effect of a proposed amendment to (the also proposed but pretty much certain) c43 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, would be to make the end of recoverability of success fees under a Conditional Fee Agreement retrospective.

I don’t agree. By my reckoning, the amendment is intended to deal with the potential difficulties caused by Collective Conditional Fee Agreements. Continue reading

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