APW v WPA [2012] EWHC 3151 (QB)

In APW v WPA  [2012] EWHC 3151 (QB) the Claimant who is a public figure was seeking an injunction against the Defendant from harassing her and publishing private and confidential information about her.

After the breakup of her relationship with the Defendant in September 2012 the Defendant sent the Claimant text messages asking to meet up and became angry that she had gone on a date with another person causing distress and worry to the Claimant.

The Claimant in the meantime had disclosed private information about the Defendant to her friends and in turn discovered that a third party had released that information to a wider public.

The Defendant on the 24th September threatened the Claimant to unlawfully publish private information about her but an hour later retracted his threat.

Between October 5th to October 7th the Defendant approached the Claimant on three occasions at restaurants where she was eating and on the 1st and 3rd times the Claimant left but on the 2nd occasion the manager asked the Defendant to leave.  The Defendant says he did not know the Claimant would be there and that an injunction would be unfounded since he was not threatening  or intending to do what the Claimant alleged.

The Judge felt that the Claimant has shown a good arguable case that she was distressed by the text messages that she said distressed her. He also accepted that the sending those text messages was  arguably a course of conduct amounting to harassment within the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

The court did not want to to impose an injunction restraining the Defendant harassing the Claimant or unlawfully publishing private and confidential information about her. The court said an injunction was neither necessary or proportionate at the date of the  hearing.

Further the court did not accept that it was harassment by the Defendant to go to the restaurant where he knew the Claimant would be and further the court accepted that there was no evidence that the Defendant had committed or threatened violence or confrontation in a public place and that the Defendant was not under any legal obligation to leave the public place/restaurant when asked to do so.

The protection for the Claimant was that damages would be awarded to her if the Defendant was to commit such an act in the future.

The court further considered whether the incidents between the 5th-7th October amounted to stalking but it was adjudged that an injunction was not a necessary or proportionate measure at the date of the hearing.

“In my judgment, for the court to grant an injunction against the defendant in the circumstances of the present case, as they appear on the evidence before the court today, would be excessive and disproportionate.”

























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