QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE PHILLIPS
| CRAIG WILLIAM PENDLEBURY
|- and -
|DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
Mark Weekes (instructed by The Crown Prosecution Service) for the Defendant
Hearing date: 30 October 2018
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Irwin:
"Between 30/9/17 and 10/11/17 that within the CCC your course of conduct amounted to stalking and caused Adelina Sasnauskaite to fear, on at least two occasions, that violence could be used against her when you knew or ought to have known that your course of conduct would cause fear of violence to Adelina Sasnauskaite on each occasion in that a large number of occasions you have made a number of phone calls, text messages and visited her at work and various home addresses. Contrary to S.4A(1)(a)(b)(i) and (5) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997."
"a. That the Appellant and the victim had been in a relationship for approximately three years and that this relationship had broken down.
b. A number of texts, telephone calls and social media messages were sent by the Appellant to the victim, including calls made four times in one day.
c. The Appellant made threats towards the victim of the use of a sexually explicit recording on a USB stick designed to cause the victim fear.
d. That DC Johnson discovered two messages relating to the USB stick on 29 October 2017.
e. That the Appellant had displayed aggressive verbal behaviour many times to the victim.
f. That the victim "felt frightened that she would be hunted down" by the Appellant.
g. That the number of and timing of the messages were designed to cause fear of violence to the victim and that the Appellant ought to have known his actions would cause the victim to fear him.
h. That the Appellant had made admissions that he had sent the victim a number of messages.
i. That the Appellant had visited the victim's place of work on 10 November 2017.
j. That the victim saw his silhouette in the dark and that he was concealing himself, and that the victim immediately grabbed her phone out of fear.
k. That by concealing himself and then approaching the victim the Appellant's actions were calculated to cause fear of violence.
l. The Appellant made admissions that he attended the victim's place of work.
m. That the victim had been scared by the Appellant's actions.
n. The Appellant's responses to questions were random and inconsistent.
o. The facts "a" to "l" amounted to stalking on more than two occasions.
p. The facts "a" to "l" amounted to the victim fearing violence on at least two occasions and that the pattern of behaviour by the appellant amounted to the fact that he knew or ought to have known that his actions caused the victim to fear that violence would be caused towards her on both occasions."
"Adelina Sasnauskaite, gave evidence that:
She was repeatedly contacted by Mr Pendlebury up to four times a day and that he went to her place of work on 25 October 2017 in Poplar. That Mr Pendlebury had made threats to show a sexually explicit recording of her on a USB stick which she denied existed. She said that she had blocked him on Facebook and tried to block her phone, but he kept changing numbers. Mr Pendlebury said he would turn up every day at her work and she felt unsafe and called the police. She said she felt "paranoid like he was hunting me down". This was investigated by DC Johnson.
She stated that Mr Pendlebury attended her work place on 10 November and she saw his silhouette as he was concealing himself across the road. Once he knew she saw him he crossed the road over to her side. A conversation ensued and she had grabbed her phone and called the police. Mr Pendlebury called her a whore, slut and similar names and that he was rambling. She was scared by his actions, and on many occasions, he had been verbally aggressive towards her."
"That he accepted he sent messages about the USB stick, he knew that she had blocked him on Facebook but that they had mutual friends. She had hacked into his Facebook and so he was trying to annoy her. That Adelina knew he had naked photos of her. That all the conversation and messages were two ways and that their chat is "naughty chat". He did not know she had a place in Poplar and that she came running over to him saying I was harassing her. He waited for the police and that they had a perfectly sociable "catch up" chat and that she only started crying when the police arrived and she "pulled an Oscar"."
"We found that the victim gave credible and consistent evidence throughout her responses to questions. She says that she was frightened and paranoid that he would hunt her down and referred many times to his verbal aggressive behaviour. Given the circumstances of the texts that the Appellant sent and that she saw his silhouette in the dark where he appeared to be concealing himself and then walked across the road to her side and throughout her evidence she had been scared by his actions, these factors allowed us to draw the necessary inferences from his conduct making us certain that both limbs of the Act were met beyond reasonable doubt i.e. on at least two occasions there was a pattern of stalking, causing her to fear violence on each occasion and that he knew or ought to have known his (sic) that his conduct would cause the victim to fear violence. Taken together with the inconsistent responses by the Appellant and in assessing both witnesses' demeanour we were satisfied that there was fear of violence and knowledge by the defendant as to his conduct on two occasions and that this was a pattern of behaviour which gave us no doubts and which then resulted in a finding of guilt."
"Was there sufficient evidence for us to find a course of conduct on at least two occasions of stalking and that on each occasion violence would be used against her when he knew or ought to have known that his course of conduct would cause fear of violence to Adelina Sasnauskaite so making Mr Pendlebury guilty under S4A Protection from Harassment Act 1997?"
"Was there sufficient evidence to prove (1) that the Appellant's course of conduct amounted to stalking and (2) caused the complainant to fear, on at least two occasions, that violence would be used against her and (3) that the Appellant knew, or ought to have known, that his conduct would cause fear of violence on each of those occasions."
"4A Stalking involving fear of violence or serious alarm or distress
(1) A person ("A") whose course of conduct—
(a) amounts to stalking, and
(i) causes another ("B") to fear, on at least two occasions, that violence will be used against B, or
(ii) causes B serious alarm or distress which has a substantial adverse effect on B's usual day-to-day activities,
is guilty of an offence if A knows or ought to know that A's course of conduct will cause B so to fear on each of those occasions or (as the case may be) will cause such alarm or distress.
(2) For the purposes of this section A ought to know that A's course of conduct will cause B to fear that violence will be used against B on any occasion if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think the course of conduct would cause B so to fear on that occasion."
"References to harassing a person include alarming the person or causing the person distress."
"2AOffence of stalking
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if—
(a) the person pursues a course of conduct in breach of section (1), and
(b) the course of conduct amounts to stalking.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) (and section 4A(1)(a)) a person's course of conduct amounts to stalking of another person if—
(a) it amounts to harassment of that person,
(b) the acts or omissions involved are ones associated with stalking, and
(c) the person whose course of conduct it is knows or ought to know that the course of conduct amounts to harassment of the other person.
(3) The following are examples of acts or omissions which, in particular circumstances, are ones associated with stalking—
(a) following a person,
(b) contacting, or attempting to contact, a person by any means,
(c) publishing any statement or other material—
(i) relating or purporting to relate to a person, or
(ii) purporting to originate from a person,
(d) monitoring the use by a person of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication,
(e) loitering in any place (whether public or private),
(f) interfering with any property in the possession of a person,
(g) watching or spying on a person."
"4. Putting people in fear of violence.
(1) A person whose course of conduct causes another to fear, on at least two occasions, that violence will be used against him is guilty of an offence if he knows or ought to know that his course of conduct will cause the other so to fear on each of those occasions.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the person whose course of conduct is in question ought to know that it will cause another to fear that violence will be used against him on any occasion if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think the course of conduct would cause the other so to fear on that occasion."
As with S4A, there are statutory defences not relevant to this case.
"4. The prosecution case was that the appellant had stalked the complainant between 28th July and 2nd August 2015. He telephoned and sent her over-familiar text messages. On 1st August 2015 he gained unauthorised entry into her house and entered her bedroom while she slept. She woke to find him sitting on her bed. He was drunk and angry, and indeed went on to slap her face twice. Later that day in the afternoon he returned to her room, again uninvited, to return keys which he had taken to the house without authorisation."
"31. In our judgment, a plain and natural reading of the wording of section 4A (1)(b) (i) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 reveals that the section is wide enough to look to incidents of violence in the future and not only to incidents giving rise to a fear of violence arising directly out of the incident in question. Nor is there any requirement for the fear to be of violence on a particular date or time in the future, or at a particular place or in a particular manner, or for there to be a specific threat of violence. There can be a fear of violence sufficient for the statute where that fear of violence is of violence on a separate and later occasion. The position can be tested simply by reference to the example of somebody saying "I'll come back and get you". On Miss Scott's interpretation that would be insufficient fear to fall within the scope of the section; that is not a position that we consider to be correct.
Whether or not fear of violence is sufficient to satisfy the requirements of section 4A(1)(b(i) is a question of fact and degree on the evidence. What is key is that the complainant has to fear on at least two occasions that there will (rather than might) be violence directed at him or her."
"The trial judge equated [the fear of violence] with causing the victim to be seriously frightened but this interpretation is (rightly) rejected by the Court of Appeal. A serious fear can be caused by all sorts of non-violent reasons."
Mr Justice Phillips: