PROTECTION FROM HARASSMENT ACT 1997

An Act designed to protect persons from harassment and similar conduct.

 

The Offence of harassment (Section 2 Offence)

Any person who pursues a course of conduct which:

a)                 amounts to harassment of another; and

b)                 which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other

Penalty   -            It is for the Police to undertake the prosecution and if found

guilty could be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine, or both.

   

The Offence putting people in fear of violence (Section 4 Offence)

A person whose course of conduct causes another to fear, on at least two occasions, that violence will be used against him.  That person will be quilty if he knows or ought to know that his course of conduct will cause the other fear on each of those two occasions.

Level of Proof  -  The person “ought to know” if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think the course of conduct would cause the other fear.

Defences to this course of conduct:

1.                 Preventing or detecting crime.

2.                 Following another rule of law.

3.                 Reasonable for protecting himself or property or another person or their property.

 

Penalty  -            Up to 5 years imprisonment or fine, or both upon indictment;

               -            Not exceeding 6 months imprisonment on summary conviction.

Court Restraining Order (Convictions under S.2 or S.4)  

-              Protect victims of offence from further conduct

(a)        amounting to harassment; or

(b)        will cause fear of violence.

 

Offence:            If person without reasonable excuse does anything prohibited under Order then:

(a)              on indictment up to 5 years or fine, or both

(b)              on summary conviction 6 months or fine, or both.

 

Definitions:

“Harassment” includes alarming the person or causing the person distress.

“Course of conduct” must involve at least two occasions.

“Conduct” includes speech.

Civil Remedy available to victim of course of conduct for:

1.                 Anxiety

2.                 Financial loss resulting from harassment.

For proceedings in HC or CC for injunction proceedings specifically for restraining harassing conduct and is in breach of injunction conditions, then warrant for arrest may be issued.

 

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