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England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions >> Lau v Director of Public Prosecutions  EWHC QB 182 (22 February 2000)
Cite as:  Crim LR 580,  1 FLR 799,  EWHC QB 182,  Fam Law 610
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
(CROWN OFFICE LIST)
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE SILBER
|DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS|
Smith Bernal Reporting Limited,
180 Fleet Street,
London EC4A 2HD
Telephone No: 0171-421 4040
Fax No: 0171-831 8838
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
NW6 4JD) appeared on behalf of the Appellant.
The Respondent did not appear and was not represented.
Crown Copyright ©
Tuesday, 22nd February 2000
"(i) A person must not pursue a course of conduct-
(a) which amounts to harassment of another, and
(b) which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other."
"A person who pursues a course of conduct in breach of section 1 is guilty of an offence."
"(2) References to harassing a person include alarming the person or, causing the person distress.
(3) A 'course of conduct' must involve conduct on at least two occasions."
"On the 20th day of April 1999 an information was preferred by [the Director of Public Prosecutions] against the Appellant... that he between November 1998 and 19 March 1999... pursued a course of conduct which amounted to harassment of Pai Yin Wong and which he knew or ought to have known amounted to the harassment of her in that:
(i)In November 1998 he attended the victim's home address and slapped her across the face;
(ii) Between 3 and 16 March 1999 he made abusive and threatening phone calls to the victim at her home address;
(iii) On 19 March 1999 he followed the victim on her way to her place of work;
(iv) Also on 19 March 1999 he attended the victim's home address; and refused to leave on her request; and
(v) On 19 March 1999 he spoke to Ms Wong in a threatening manner. Contrary to section 2(1) and (2) of the Protection from Harassment Act
"(i) The Appellant and Pai Yin Wong (the victim), a lady, were students at the Kingsway College where they met and became boyfriend and girlfriend.
(ii) In November 1998 the Appellant struck the victim at least once. Notwithstanding this the relationship continued although it had its difficulties.
(iii) By March 1999 the victim's enthusiasm for the relationship had cooled. She had formed another friendship with a Mr Ka-Chun Lau. On 19 March he and the victim were outside her home. The Appellant arrived and in the presence of the victim threatened Mr Ka-Chun Lau with two bricks, speaking to him in Chinese. Mr Lau made no response but telephoned the police who arrived and arrested the Appellant."
"It was contended by the Appellant that in order for there to be a 'course of conduct' for the purposes of the Act, there had to be nexus between the incidents relied upon by the Crown. In this case, the first incident was a slap across the face in November 1998 whilst the relationship was ongoing. The second incident was the threatening of Ms Wong's companion with two bricks in her presence on 19th March 1999, after the relationship had ended. The Appellant contended that there was no nexus between the two incidents. I did not accept the argument that there was a need to demonstrate a nexus between the incidents and accordingly made no finding as to whether there was any such nexus."
"No contentions were put forward on behalf of the Respondent."
"(a) the first question for the opinion of the High Court is whether there needs to be a nexus between the separate incidents of harassing conduct relied upon by the prosecution, in order for that conduct to amount to a 'course of conduct' for the purpose of Section 1 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997;
(b) the second question for the opinion of the
High Court is whether there was sufficient evidence upon which the Appellant could properly be convicted of an offence under Section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997."