back to article First 'Facebook harassment' defendant cleared

A Birmingham man has been cleared of harassing his ex-girlfriend over Facebook in the first prosecution to specifically cite the social networking website. Michael Hurst, 33, of Edgbaston, was accused of harassing Sophie Sladden under the 1997 Harassment Act. Magistrates cleared the theatrical set builder yesterday, saying …

COMMENTS

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  1. Pooper Scooper

    Your options

    1) Deny the friend request

    2) File a lawsuit

    I guess it's a statement on our society that she chose the latter.

  2. Ben Gibson

    It wouldn't bother me

    But I do know the ways to harass people are many and not always as obviously damaging as they would seem to someone without knowledge of the whole case. If he has been cautioned by the police before for continually contacting her perhaps it would have been better to present this issue as merely one more way he is trying to harass rather then making it sound like he is only using Facebook.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deny/Block?

    What would have been wrong with denying the request and blocking his profile? AFAIK all social networking sites allow you to block someone from contacting you.

    If she had blocked him, and he'd created a new profile in order to get around the block, then I could see why she'd want to file a lawsuit.

    On the other hand, if she has just gone straight for the lawsuit option then she ouight to be made to pay all costs and prosecuted for wasting time, as even an idiot can block someone and it looks like her lawsuit was filed maliciously.

  4. Jamie
    Linux

    @Anonymous Coward

    At least some people still have what was refered to as common sense.

    If you don't want to be contacted by someone or don't want to talk to them on a social site then block them.

  5. Adrian Crooks

    Could be reasonable

    On both sides it could be considered reasonable. The article lists that he had previously been warned - "The prosecution said Hurst had previously been cautioned in November 2007 for continually contacting Sladden." Therefore if the guy shows up in any way as watching or trying to contact Sladden, then it needs to be brought up not just filed away as "oh, I'll just block the request". The guys response that she is friends of his friends/acquaintances may also be reasonable as it's difficult to draw a line in the sand when there are other mutual people/places involved.

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