Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Stalked

This link is to a blog by a person in the UK who is being persistently stalked, apparently by a "registered nurse".

It would be very helpful to know whether this means a "State Registered Nurse" or a "Registered Mental Nurse". The element of pyschological warfare rather suggests the latter. The stalker appears to have secured a number of minor public positions, such as school governor. It is by no means outside Medawar's experience for a psychopath to secure as many such positions as he or she possibly could. Particularly if "psychopath" further translates to "pathological liar."

Too many stalking victims try in vain to get the police to act "against the stalking". Due largely to problems with definitions, the law is less than helpful here.

However:
If the stalker has given any clue at all, or made any suggestion at all, as to what the vicitim is supposed to do to make the stalking stop, or stop it getting worse, no matter how large or small this requirement may be, the stalking becomes a component of blackmail, or conspiracy to blackmail if the stalker has even one accomplice or supporter. As soon as a stalking victim can tell an English or Welsh policeman that the stalking is intended to force them to perform an unwanted action that would represent a loss of material or rights on their part, then the stalking victim can make a complaint of blackmail and the police have both duty and powers to act.

The law of blackmail in England and Wales is not defined as an attempt to obtain money or goods: it is defined as an attempt to force a loss upon the victim. The courts have accepted that "loss" can include interference with the right to carry out normal activities.

Medawar would suggest that being forced to install a level of security not considered normal or necessary by one's neighbours, is a material loss for starters.

The stalker can also be prosecuted for inflicting grievous or actual psychological harm. Actual psychological harm is anything you need medical treatment for, grievous psychological harm is usually defined as anything that requires the victim to stay in hospital for treatment.

It is also an act of criminal trespass if the stalker, from the victim's property or any adjoining property, prevents the victim from doing anything on the victim's own property which the victim has a legal right to do.

Anyone in a similar predicament might usefully remind their local police of these three things. Because even if the victim has not yet required psychiatric treatment, if the stalking is designed to bring this situation about, it is a wilful attempt to cause grievous psychological harm -and that's just as much an arrestable offence as swinging a hammer at someone's head.

Sentences for blackmail tend to be severe, especially when the blackmail involves physical intimidation. Sentences for causing actual bodily harm can range up to seven years, those for causing grievous bodily harm can be longer still.

Any criminal conviction for offences of this nature could disbar the stalker from being a school governor, or even from having contact with children. It is also likely that the relevant Royal College would strike the stalker off from ever practicing as a nurse.