What is likely to happen to a person who breaks harassment order.

Me and my boyfriend have had a police harassment order on my boyfriend's ex partner since dec.
The ex hasn't taken much notice of it as she has still contacted us via letter and texts and so the police have taken steps and she is in court on July the 7th for breaking the order.
Unfortunately this weekend whilst we were out on a day trip we run into her(we go to vw camper shows and she goes to the ones she can get to looking for us )
As soon as we spotted her even though she isn't supposed to talk to us or approach us we decided to leave straight away to avoid any aggravation but unfortunately she chased after us and actually attacked us both when we just got back to our van (all in front of my 5 yr old and their 2 young sons :O( )
We reported her to the police straight away and spent ages today giving statements.
the police can be a bit vague when they are talking to us about what the next steps are and i would like to know what is likely to happen next. what will happen to her for breaking the harassment order and now for the assault.
and will this all be dealt with in the july court date as it is all breach of the harassment order?
also my fear is increasingly that she is never going to stop harassing us and the fact she has now gone for verbal to physical abuse is very worrying for me.and also i worry that if the court is lenient on her and just give her a fine for instance it will be no deterrant to her or are the police likely to step up their actions against her? ....
23:04 Sun 05th Jun 2011
 
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Hi jenarry

Can you confirm what you mean by a police harassment order?

I take it she has been arrested for the assault?

Thanks
Question Author
i think that's what it's called. the police gave us two options a harassment warning which didn't hold much weight and a harassment order where she is not allowed to contact either us in any way,not in person,text,call,letter,email or via 3rd person which is what she had placed on her but it wasn't long before she broke the order hence going to court in july. it's a bit complicated about arrest because the assault happened in one police area where we dialled 999 and and same part of the country where she lives and us having to go to the police in our area to give statements so it sounded like she will be arrested in the next day or two..does that sound right?...
Thank you,

Yes that is correct ref cross border offences etc. Both forces will now agree on how / where / when this will be dealt with.

It appears that the Ex was given a formal police written harassment 'warning' (unless you can confirm otherwise), and now the next step should be a charge or summonsed to court if there is sufficient admissible evidence to prosecute. If found guilty then an injunction or similar is likely to be enforced by the courts.

The assault offences are aggravated by being domestic related and should attract positive action by the police and the courts.

Pleas note: I hear a lot of people, including police officers say harassment warnings, verbal or written are not worthwhile. I totally disagree with this as long as they are issued in the right circumstances (I will explain if required).
Question Author
yes please..if they are not worthwhile that worries me as if the police are not able to stop her actions then i worry what the outcome could be. :(
Sorry, I am saying the warnings are worthwhile.

Basically, criminal harassment is not specially defined but generally covers any repeated and unwanted conduct towards a victim. Sec 2 and 4 of the act are relevant to your case.

The elements of the section 2 offence are:

1. a course of conduct
2. which amounts to harassment of another and
3 which the defendant knows, or ought to know amounts to harassment of another.

There are 3 defences available to the relevant harassment acts (Sec 2 and 4), the first two are aimed at police officers etc and business, the third defence states:

* that in the particular circumstances the pursuit of the course of conduct was reasonable
Pt 2

A defence commonly used in harassment cases is the defendant claiming they did not realise their conduct amounted to harassment and therefore their conduct was not unreasonable.

If a police officer / investigator has previously warned an accused that their conduct is unwanted and unreasonable then this would kncok out that defence.

In order for the offence to be complete, there has to have been at least two separate incidents of harassment. It is proportionate and appropriate (in most circs) to give a warning on the first reported incident to firstly try and deter any future problem and secondly to try and resolve the matter with the least amount in intrusion to all parties involved.
Please note this is a very basic summary of criminal harassment and like most crim laws there are more complex underlying factors to consider (such as case law).

Here are the sentencing guidelines:

http://www.cps.gov.uk...ng_manual/harrasment/
Question Author
Thankyou exdc. Your info was very helpful.
It's looks like the ex should get a custodial sentence which is I think is unfortuantely a necessary measure to get through to her that she needs to stop harassing us for the sake of her and her children if nothing else.
I do worry that she is going to play the sympathy card though as she is registered disabled as she is profoundly deaf and because she is the main carer for her 2 boys. Do you think this will make a difference to how she is dealt with?
Hi

"It's looks like the ex should get a custodial sentence ..."

Dont hold your breath jenarry.

If she was found guilty at court then they would have to consider that she is the primary carer of two children.
Question Author
Yes I thought so . She is showing no regard for the police and the law so far so I'm not quite sure what will actually get through to her that's why I was asking this question.
I just wish I could see some end to it . We thought she had got the message until all this happened at the weekend. :(
Hi Jenarry

Get your partner to speak to the officer in the case and / or ask to speak to the DVU (Domestic Violence Unit), ask them about formal injunctions etc, failing that have a look at ncdv.org.uk

Have you heard anything from the police?
Question Author
No we haven't heard anything from them yet so tomorrow we are going to phone the police in the area that took the initial 999 call on saturday, as they will be dealing with the ex apparently.
we are also going to contact the local policeman who has been in charge of the original harrassment order to see if he has any news for us.
Ok, hopefully they will explain exactly how they intend to deal with this ongoing and escalating matter. Domestic harassment is a hot-potatoe at the moment, and this needs nipping in the bud ASAP.

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