If you have had stalking allegations made against you, it is crucial that you speak to a solicitor as soon as possible. Stalking can range from what can first-off seem as unthreatening repeated behaviour such as sending gifts and hanging around the victim's home or place of work or neighbourhood, to explicit threats and actual attacks on the complainer or their property.
The behaviour can also be towards other family members. This is known as ‘stalking by proxy'. Stalking can result in Interdicts and Non-Harassment Orders being served, but can also lead to fines or a prison sentence. Our solicitors have the expertise and knowledge in this field to represent you and ensure that you have the best possible defence. Speak to one of our solicitors today.
What is Stalking?
Stalking has been a criminal offence in Scotland since the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 came into force and can broadly be seen to cover conduct that causes another person fear or alarm. ‘Conduct’ may refer to behaviours that can be considered threatening, such as:
- Following someone
- Contacting someone
- Publishing a statement relating to someone, or a statement that is purported to originate from someone
- Monitoring someone’s electronic communications, e.g. their texts, emails or use of the internet
- Watching or spying on someone
- Loitering in a public or private place
- Interfering with someone’s property of possessions
- Publishing or threatening to publish intimate photographs of someone (often referred to as ‘revenge porn’)
- Any other behaviour that a reasonable person would understand will cause fear or alarm
For charges of stalking to be brought, it must be shown that there was a course of conduct that amounted to harassment or stalking. If it can be demonstrated that there was a fear of violence on the part of the victim, or if the alleged stalking caused ‘serious alarm or distress that had a substantial adverse effect on the victim's usual day-to-day activities' then this may result in a prison sentence of up to five years.
It is not the case that the person intended to cause the victim to feel threatened – all that is required is that they engaged in conduct that they should have known would cause fear or alarm. For a charge of stalking, it must be shown that this behaviour took place on more than one occasion.
How Are Stalking Claims Dealt With?
Most stalking claims will be investigated by the police and, if there is sufficient evidence, criminal charges can be brought. Victims may be offered additional protections, for example by imposing bail conditions on the person accused of stalking that prevents them from contacting the victim in person and also by phone, text, email or social media for the duration of the criminal case. When the case has been concluded the Procurator Fiscal may be able to apply for a Non-Harassment Order that prevents the person convicted of stalking from engaging in certain behaviours.
Whether or not police have been involved in investigating stalking claims, there are a range of Civil Orders that can be obtained by the alleged victim depending on their relationship to the person accused of stalking them. In addition to applying to the court for an Order to prevent the accused person from engaging in particular types of conduct, an alleged victim may be able to raise an action for damages. This would represent compensation for anxiety, fear or alarm suffered as a consequence of the alleged behaviour.
Contact our Stalking Defence Solicitors in Glasgow, Scotland
The specialist criminal defence solicitors at Keith J Tuck have a well-earned reputation for providing strategic, robust representation for clients accused of stalking and harassment. Our lawyers will work tirelessly on your behalf, taking a proactive approach from the earliest stage of any investigation to help you protect your personal position.