Regina v Economou; 2 Jun 2016

Links: Judiciary
Ratio:Westminster Magistrates’ Court – The defendant faced a charge of harassment under the 1997 Act. A Ms De Freitas had laid a complaint of rape against but no further action had been taken. He began in turn proceedings alleging attempted perversion of the course of justice, during the course of which she committed suicide. Her father was unhappy with the procedures followed and complained publicly without naming the defendant. The now defendant was said to have created a website complaining as to the father’s behaviour, maintaining his own innocence and sending images from the deceased girl’s own website advertising her services as a masseuse or call girl.
Held: The defendant was not guity. ‘the material that the Defendant posted was upsetting, a grieving father was being drawn to information about his dead daughter which painted her as a call-girl and as a liar. That was surely distressing, even if all true. It was also embarrassing, not only in the uploading of the purchase of the sex aids bought but the fact that she had been offering her services as a masseuse in the sex industry. On the other hand, David de Freitas in his campaigning in the media, was, as the prosecution themselves put it, ‘asserting that his daughter’s allegation of rape was true’. This, the Defendant, says, was causing harm to his reputation.’
In the circumstances, the court could not be sure of that the hypothetical reasonable person in possession of the same information as the Defendant would think the course of conduct amounted to harassment.
Statutes: Protection from Harassment Act 1997 2

Last Update: 21-Jun-16
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