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F E Smith
F E Smith, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 8443
Experience:  30 years in General Practice
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I am in London, United Kingdom. A quick summary of what's

Customer Question

I am in London, United Kingdom.
A quick summary of what's happened earlier:
I have a few online friends and we play videogames together. While we play online games together, we sometimes prank each other. I and another friend of ours decided to call another friend called Linus on Steam to annoy him while he was playing an online game. He told me he was reporting me to the police for this, and I of course assumed this was a joke. Since he did not delete me as a friend on this program, or tell me to stop, I continued doing this for around 3 or 4 minutes, obviously thinking this wasn't a serious threat. I then stopped.
Later on he told me that he actually did file a report against me. I was messaging you to ask if I did break a law by doing this. I honestly didn't mean to break the law, I was playing a light hearted prank but I am starting to become worried since he is saying to me now that what I've done is a hate crime since I believe he suffers from aspergers.
Many thanks,
Vlad Syrota
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

What was the nature of the prank?

Was it three or four minutes in total over the whole period of time everything just three or four minute event?

Are you sure that your friend is not franking you by saying that he has reported this?

When did all this take place?

How old are you?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The nature of the prank was just to call him to distract him from the game.The whole period of time was around 6 minutes, I called him for around 3 or 4 minutes in total.I heard him speaking to the Metropolitan police earlier. He's been referred to a international crime department in his home country which he said he will call.This took place around an hour ago.I'm 21.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

The only potential crime here would be harassment under the provisions of the Protection from Harassment Act. Harassment is a course of action (more than twice) which is intended to harass there is reckless as to whether it harasses and whether an outsider would look at what happened and think that it amounted to harassment. It may or may not be an offence in the country where he lives.

It would only become harassment in your case if it got out of control and certainly not after 6 minutes.

Just because he was on the phone or some other communication device appearing to speak to some law-enforcement agency does not actually mean there was someone on the other end!

I can tell you that if he went to the police in the UK with this, they would not do anything about it for a whole variety of reasons including the fact that there is not actually a crime and, they have better things to do.

Certainly, if this person is in another country, you will not hear anything about this. There is no need to worry.

The only time there may be a problem is if it was sexually or racially et cetera motivated which you haven’t mentioned so I assume is not the case. All this talk about it being a hate crime is just him spouting off. Don’t worry.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.


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