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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have an 11 yr old daughter who has been groomed by a 30yr

Customer Question

I have an 11 yr old daughter who has been groomed by a 30yr old neighbour. He wrote a love letter to her bought her £100 of gifts.
He's been charged with 3 counts of common assault on her and her 8yr old friend. For pulling her arm to try to get her alone and tickling. Luckily not sexual, but not for the lack of him attempting to get my daughter alone. He is released on bail (next door!) but is now stalking my daughter and loitering. The police warned him but he hasn't approached her so can't arrest him again.
The police seized his computers etc which are being examined and we are awaiting a date for the girls video interviews.
My daughter is terrified, won't go to school, visit friends/family etc. She can't sleep, has nightmares. Also having panic attacks. I'm worried whether convicted or not he'll be allowed to stay next door (his mothers home). Is there anything we can do to prevent this happening, so my daughter won't be permanently living in fear?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

I am sorry but he is going to be allowed to live next door. There is absolutely no prospect of him being removed from his home for what is ultimately a common assault.

He is probably on bail conditions not to contact her but is wouldn't be proportionate to go any further than that and bail conditions have to be proportionate.

`i'm not sure what you mean by stalking? `if he isn't contacting her then he cannot be stalking by definition.

`Loitering would not offend in this context and anyway he lives next door so hard to prove.

`i'm very sorry but that is your position.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
When I say stalking, since his arrest he has started cycling past her school at home time, waits by where her taxi drops her off, lurks in a field next to our house reading in the rain (all these are public places not by his home). He also watches her through his window and goes out to chop wood etc when he sees her outside.
The police are shocked he was allowed bail back to his mothers house. The letter he wrote was very disturbing. Saying he loved her more than anyone (he has only known her a few months), saying he can still remember the first time she touched him. That he wants to take her places and he knows that she loves him too. He has videoed the girls too when they are playing etc and nought them expensive gifts. The NSPCC called the police and social services after I showed them the letter asking for advice. The police officer caught him following my neighbour's child when they came to interview my daughter and arrested him there and then. They used the common assault charges as a means to arrest him to enable them to seize his computer, mobile, camera etc. The social worker and child protection team said the letter was a classic case of grooming but he is very careful, he knows just how far he can push things.
The police took the letter as evidence.
My worry is that the assault charges aren't enough on their own. He had been hounding my daughter throughout the summer holidays and desperately tried to get her alone. She kept telling him to leave her alone but he was out every day badgering her and hanging around the children.
The police are frustrated because their hands are tied and say he's being very clever. They even gave him a warning when they patrolled and caught him cycling past the school. They have taken it all very seriously and advised that they hope they find something on his computer that will allow them to charge him with further offences.
We and friends/neighbours have been monitoring his activity so we have dates and times and they coincide with the girl's activities (he didn't cycle during the holidays or at weekends).
Could we sue him civilly for harrassment or stalking? I was led to believe that he doesn't need to make contact with my daughter, just loitering and hanging around his victim can be seen as intimidation, is this correct? Would that be a way to get a restraining order or something? We are desperate.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.

Not on this basis. He isn't making contact. These could be default meetings and given that he lives in the location that probably would be accepted.

If he makes contact then you could but that will rack up costs and it doesn't do much more than the bail conditions would save for extend it beyond the bail conditions.

I am really sorry but I cannot agree this amounts to witness intimidation.

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