or is this harrassment?

(86 Posts)
WillIEverBeFree Thu 29-Aug-13 21:05:49

Reg under NC, think footballer and dentistry.

I have a restraining order against my ex. I now find out he is having my neighbour spy on me and report every visitor, every car complete with make, model and registration that parks on my drive and every single word I say to anyone.

This has just floored me. For the past 5 weeks, every single move I make has been monitored and reported to my ex. He even knows that my fucking bin was not emptied and why - even I don't know that! (it was the recycling one).

The police don't want to know. I'm fucking angry, feeling vengeful and possibly a tiny bit scared. And probably BU. But hey. Give me your thoughts MN, please.

WillIEverBeFree Thu 29-Aug-13 21:07:55

And if I don't reply straight away, I am not a hairy of hand bridge-dweller, just receiving further reports of the ex and his surveillance sad

Mia4 Thu 29-Aug-13 21:10:41

YANBU. How did you find out about your neighbour?

sarascompact Thu 29-Aug-13 21:14:14

I think I know who you were previously. Def not a bridge dweller.

Would Womens Aid be able to give you some advice? I'm surprised that the police don't want to know and am wondering whether WA could make them sit up and listen.

What a weirdo. What the f8ck does he want with car makes and numbers? How does it help him to know that you were visited on Monday by a brunette woman in a green Vauxhall? confused

If I were you I'd confront the neighbour and tell them that I know what they're doing and that it's been reported to the police (they don't need to know the police's current reaction). Is that an option?

SeaSickSal Thu 29-Aug-13 21:18:07

How have you found this all out? Has your neighbour admitted it? Why has the neighbour agreed to do this for him?

SeaSickSal Thu 29-Aug-13 21:20:23

YANBU. How did you find out about the neighbour? Why has your neighbour agreed to do this for him? How has he found out what you have been saying?

WillIEverBeFree Thu 29-Aug-13 21:21:41

I was called by the woman he went to live with. There is no other way he could have known this information. Said woman has chucked him out and his children are floating between relatives.

I have said nothing to the neighbour, not wanting to have a knee-jerk reaction.

I feel violated.

Thank you sara

SeaSickSal Thu 29-Aug-13 21:23:16

How do you know he had the information though? Did the woman he lives with find it? If so how do you know it came from the neighbour?

WillIEverBeFree Thu 29-Aug-13 21:25:52

The woman told me the events of the last few weeks, the neighbour has faithfully reported every event.

SeaSickSal Thu 29-Aug-13 21:28:13

I'm not sure how she knows this though, did your ex tell her? Also how does your neighbour know what you've been saying? Have they been listening in?

WillIEverBeFree Thu 29-Aug-13 21:28:29

I don't know yet if this is a breach of the RO, am waiting for legal advice. Obviously there is much more to this, it's just I am stinging at being observed so closely and feel very unsafe.

WillIEverBeFree Thu 29-Aug-13 21:55:10

Is it just me or does MN keep going offline?

Did I break it? confused

I would speak to the police and get some advice.

SeaSickSal Thu 29-Aug-13 22:01:42

How has he managed to convince your neighbour to do this?

Well, if the neighbour's not very smart and/or doesn't like the OP, it would be easy enough to convince the neighbour that the OP is a slut trying to ruin XP and keep his children from him.

I have a feeling that the police might be able to have a word with the neighbour and point out that spying is not neighbourly and s/he should pack it in.

shock at situation.

MN keeps going offline, not just you.

Misspixietrix Thu 29-Aug-13 22:19:16

OP are you privately renting or in council? Just wondering if it would be worth reporting the Incident to a Patch Manager if you have one? If the Police arent being much help? ~

OhDearNigel Thu 29-Aug-13 23:29:09

What is the specific wording on the order, Op ? Is it a non mol or imposed as a result of criminal proceedings in a magistrates or crown court ?

Without knowing the exact terms its difficult to establish whether a breach has occurred

ZillionChocolate Fri 30-Aug-13 07:51:09

You're not wrong to feel violated. I think it's unlikely to be a breach of the order, but will depend on how it's drafted. Which police have you spoken to? Might be worth trying any specialist units they have, dealing with domestic abuse.

bobbywash Fri 30-Aug-13 08:19:34

Restraining order probably on prohibits him from coming ewithin a certain distance. To me that would be harrassement under the protection from harressment act 1997. If you report it to the police that yo are being harrassed by your ex because of this, they should have a word with your eighbour to stop it.

If they won't (because they say it's a civil issue, it's not and the act makes it clear that the police have powers) then the alternative is going back to court and having an injunction which should include him and any servant or agent, which would therefore include your neighbour.

pizzachickenhotforyou Fri 30-Aug-13 08:40:27

Doesn't a harassment order stop all contact including via a 3rd party? Surely this is on a restraining order too?

raisah Fri 30-Aug-13 08:47:18

Report your neighbour to the police abd hopefully a visit from them will frighten them into stopping. They need to know that their behaviour could cause you danger and if you are harmed in any way then they will be liable.

Can you not pursue the neighbour for invasion of privacy? They are snooping in your bins and reporting your visitors to a dangerous person, surely that is worth investigating. I would go after the neighbour as the best way to get the message across that two can play at this game. He wants you to be scared, be careful how you approach this as he is smart by using a third party to do his dirty work so the terms of the ro aren't broken. He is using the neighbour as a disposable chess piece so you should too.

I am pretty sure that some restraining orders prohibit a person from using other people to harass the one protected by the order4 - if your order doesn't already have this provision, it needs to be amended. A solicitor/WA should be able to help.
Sorry you didn't have much luck with the police. Unfortunately, while many forces and certainly many officers are very good at dealing with DV, there are still individual officers who are misogynists or just incompetent and therefore unhelpful.

TigerSwallowTail Fri 30-Aug-13 11:46:07

Speak to the domestic abuse unit at your police station, there is usually a specific unit to deal with domestic abuse and they are far more clued up on these types of situations and much more supportive.

WillIEverBeFree Fri 30-Aug-13 14:09:15

Have spoken to my solicitor who has indicated that there is not really much the police can do as ex has not tried to contact me. Just that the neighbour is passing on info.

No idea what the motivation is, they don't even know each other that well. I previously got on well with the neighbour.

I found out from the girl who just kicked him out. As I said its only things a neighbour would know and he has repeatedly volunteered the information that he has not spoken to my ex.

It's all rather disturbing, especially since it seems there is nothing I can do.

EldritchCleavage Fri 30-Aug-13 14:13:58

Neighbour is guilty of harassment, and is facilitating further harassment of you by ex. You could get an injunction against both in civil court (assuming your source would provide a witness statement for you).

Don't let anyone (especially cops, who fob people off a lot over stuff like this) tell you that it isn't harassment because ex is not in contact and neighbour is not doing anything to you directly. It certainly is. Google the case of Howlett v Holding.

WillIEverBeFree Fri 30-Aug-13 14:22:23

Thanks eldritch. As I understand it then I would have to report the neighbour then? Aren't the police just going to laugh? After all it could just look like telling tales. Will google that case now.

EldritchCleavage Fri 30-Aug-13 14:27:07

Either report to police and/or see a solicitor about a civil case of harassment. It may be enough to frighten your neighbour off for him to get a letter from a solicitor saying this is harassment and must stop.

WillIEverBeFree Fri 30-Aug-13 14:31:11

This is where it gets sticky as I don't have money circa solicitor. I'm wondering if telling my neighbour that his actions constitute harassment would be enough. He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

EldritchCleavage Fri 30-Aug-13 14:31:59

If you need help with a letter, PM me.

PenguinBear Fri 30-Aug-13 14:40:07

You poor thing op, sounds horrendous. Could the ex GF back you up if you went to the police?

AFishWithoutABicycle Fri 30-Aug-13 14:46:29

Write an official looking letter stating that your are treating his/her behaviour as harassment send it next door by registered post saying you have retained a copy and it is with your solicitor etc etc
It Will mean f all but might scare them into not being such a wank.

oscarwilde Fri 30-Aug-13 14:48:44

Your Ex must be a complete nutter. My sympathies. Hopefully with Eldritch's help you can nip it in the bud now.
While you go through the correct channels could you have some fun with it by behaving as eccentrically as possible? I'm sure we could come up with a few suggestions grin

minibmw2010 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:48:45

Tell your neighbour that you are aware what they are up to. That should put a spoke in his wheels for a while ...

WillIEverBeFree Fri 30-Aug-13 15:44:39

Interesting development. Just opened a letter from the council. It says there have been noise complaints

I rang and asked what noise and when. I explained that my ex no longer lived here and about my problems. As soon as I explained about the neighbour, he said Ah. That explains a lot.

Coming to see me next week.

Looks like genius boy is having another go.

WillIEverBeFree Fri 30-Aug-13 15:46:17

Yes my ex is unhinged.

So should I speak to neighbour or write? Just want to get on with everyone really. I don't need this.

WillIEverBeFree Fri 30-Aug-13 15:47:32

Oscar, I had considered some kind of performance just for kicks, but it's getting too serious now sad

YouTheCat Fri 30-Aug-13 15:51:17

Don't speak to the neighbour and let the council deal with some of this.

If this erroneous complaint has come from the neighbour then it will all be logged and you can report him for harassment.

UnicornsNotRiddenByGrownUps Fri 30-Aug-13 16:05:18

Your poor thing. What a fucking wanker. Can you go and speak to domestic violence unit? I don't know much but can listen sad

oscarwilde Fri 30-Aug-13 16:15:02

Am I understanding correctly that the snooping neighbour has been kicked out by his girlfriend? So is no longer in a place to continue monitoring you?

I agree with YoutheCat. The council usually takes malicious time wasting pretty seriously. They'll probably be more effective than the police grin Definitely contact the DV unit though. Two visits from officialdom should be enough to get MrSnoopy to sod off.

I still think you should have some fun in the meantime though racks her brains to come up with something imaginative which can't be used against you in upcoming divorce battle or similar

WillIEverBeFree Fri 30-Aug-13 16:18:33

I'm not sure the DV unit can do much, and tbh I didn't find them much help when he was charged/convicted either. The best help and advice was on MN actually! There's some proper superstars here smile

WillIEverBeFree Fri 30-Aug-13 16:20:48

No sorry Oscar, ex p has been kicked out by gf - that's how I found all this out as she has now been on the receiving end of his nasty side. So she decided to tell all. Neighbour still here.

WillIEverBeFree Fri 30-Aug-13 16:23:40

Council chap was very sympathetic and told me not to worry.

I am in contact as well with the mum of his 2 boys. She wants him stopped as well, he had her watched when they split up. It's all so familiar, if I only knew then...

oscarwilde Fri 30-Aug-13 16:32:09

Must be tempting to collect every snail you can find for 10 miles and drop them off in his veg patch..
Presumably he's not of a generation that tweets?
#WillIEverBeFree - Off upstairs for a poo, I feel a monster No 2 on the way. Back in 5 #MrSnoopy

oscarwilde Fri 30-Aug-13 16:34:15

Sorry - I am being flip. It must be truly quite scary and very creepy. I'm sure it's a very bad idea to approach your neighbour but I'd probably let him know verbally that his watching of your movements has been reported to the Domestic Violence Unit who are monitoring your case. That way he's in no doubt that your ex is not a nutter of the highest order.

Is this contemptible man stalking his other former partners as well? I think there may be some sort of level of cumulative anti-social behaviour that might lead to him being put under some sort of restraint and/or imprisoned.

meant to add: almost any type of behaviour can legally be harassment if it's unwanted. Leaving flowers on someone's doorstep may be a romantic gesture if it's welcomed by the recipient, but if it's unwelcome and repeated, it's harassment.

WafflyVersatile Sat 31-Aug-13 02:32:44

If the police or council can't sort it out then I'd send a cease and desist letter to your neighbour saying any further instances of x,y,z will be considered harassment and reported to the relevant authorities.

Are you sure it was the neighbour and not your ex hanging around, but telling his latest ex that it was the neighbour because to say otherwise would be to admit breaching the order?

I was granted a restraining order a couple of years ago (not domestic, was to do with work). The order (as per legislative requirements, but this was not UK) prohibited any contact through third parties and any incitement to third parties to carry out acts of harassment.

I assume you're in some part of the UK. I would be astonished if the law was different there.

Out of curiosity, what act are restraining orders made under?

Tiredtrout Sat 31-Aug-13 07:36:58

Go back to the police, what your describing comes under the new anti stalking law, section 2a(3) protection from harassment act. It only came in over the past few months

carabos Sat 31-Aug-13 09:10:54

If I were you, I would try to find out for 100% certain that the snooping is being done by your neighbour before you take action against him.

When XH and I were splitting up, he had me followed by a private detective. I thought he was getting info from random people such as his DM and our neighbours, not in any co-ordinated or malicious way, just chit-chat which he was then putting together as 2+2 makes 5 iyswim. Boy, was I wrong about that shock.

Get your ducks in a row so that you are properly informed and make sure you understand the terms of your RO, get it revised if necessary. I realise you don't have money for a lawyer, but try to find it- you need one. Mine acted pro bono for me for years because he was disgusted with X's behaviour.

WillIEverBeFree Sat 31-Aug-13 11:03:25

Some more information has come out.

I got a call from DS when I was at work to say that ex had been seen in my home town. It's a small place and I was only half a mile away from where he was seen. Mum of ex's children had also said he was going to look at a flat in centre of town. If he does this there is a very high chance of crossing paths with him.

I get home and as it was bin day, expect to see empty bin by the gate. It had been moved up the path but not put in its usual place. So I panic. But...

Turns out my other neighbour brought it in and we had a chat. She talks to spying neighbour and knows for a fact that he has been talking to my ex. She mentioned this before I said anything about spying.

So here we are. Not going to approach neighbour at the moment and still welcoming all advice while I decide on course of action.

WillIEverBeFree Sat 31-Aug-13 11:04:44

Carabos that's AWFUL! I'm so sorry sad

WillIEverBeFree Sat 31-Aug-13 11:17:35

Tired thank you for that, I just looked it up and I see what you mean.

nennypops Sat 31-Aug-13 11:49:08

What's the wording of the restraining order? If it prevents your ex plus his servants or agents or third parties on his behalf from harassing you, then he is in breach of the order and it can be enforced. You do need to ensure your evidence is pretty solid, though; would the person who told you be prepared to go on the record?

Holy cow the ex really is unhinged.
I wonder if he's taking time to also put the spies out on the girlfriend who has thrown him out recently.
All exes working together maybe you can get the man arrested for something.

WillIEverBeFree Sat 31-Aug-13 21:04:45

The RO prevents contact directly or indirectly with me or my son.

Now I find out he has sent a "meet me" request to my best friend on plenty of fish.

Have now compiled a diary of events with screenshots.

Me, the ex gf and mum of boys have so far teamed up. We just need another ex with whom he has another two boys, on board.

Yes, my life is a fucking soap opera that has to be lived yo be believed.

I don't think I can take any more.

WillIEverBeFree Sat 31-Aug-13 21:07:43

Squinkies - apparently on the day of his conviction, he went to where the other ex (mum of other to boys) lives and walked up and down outside her house pointing and laughing with a mate. She called police but no action was taken. I told police again when I reported the Facebook stuff.

He will trip up soon enough, just hope it's before I crack.

WillIEverBeFree Sat 31-Aug-13 21:09:00

Hope nobody thinks I am drip feeding, this is all happening in real time.

coco27 Sat 31-Aug-13 21:17:12

Hmm but is it really harassment.Surely the neighbour can keep an eye on what is going on outside, from his own home? Isn't that what neighbourhood watch encourages people to do?

WillIEverBeFree Sat 31-Aug-13 21:18:21

It is when he tells my ex about it I think coco.

WillIEverBeFree Sat 31-Aug-13 21:20:03

It gives him information that he can use to harass me further IYSWIM. It is however rather borderline - he knows what he is doing.

It's harassment in my book! I hope he gets his comeuppance soon OP.

I shall also keep my fingers crossed that his penis rots and falls off. wink

WillIEverBeFree Sat 31-Aug-13 21:38:56

Yourhand it seems likely the way he's shagging about grin

I can't even change my locks as he is still on the tenancy! Grrr that's nuts, there is a restraining order preventing him coming to this address!


I imagine that acts which are in general legal (e.g. watching etc) are nevertheless prohibited if (and this is the crucial bit) the person against whom the order is made incites them to be done. It depends on the precise wording of the order but I suppose if I had reason to believe that my tormenter was getting people to spy on me, I'd be looking or some sort of evidence connecting them to him (either directly or by inference).

carabos Sat 31-Aug-13 22:58:05

Will do you have a car? If you do, get someone to check it over. My friend's STBXH fitted a tracking device to her car via the satnav so he could check up where she had been.

Mia4 Sun 01-Sep-13 10:06:59

WillIEverBeFree Did your nice neighbour say why this other neighbour was spying for your ex? Is she/he a complete cunt and shuitty or have they been given a lot of manipulative and sobbing stories that make them sympathetic?

Either way, you need to keep the police in the loop about his all and record everything. Ask your nice neighbour if she's okay with you naming her to the police as a witness to what the other neighbour is doing for your shitty ex.

You may not be able to 'change' the locks OP but if he can't approach anyway then I'd install another deadbolt-which you only have the key for. I don't know what area you are in but what about citizens Advice? Or is there any services near you that can advise?

Mia4 Sun 01-Sep-13 10:28:56

Also, nots ure if this helps: http://www.problemneighbours.co.uk/how-deal-with-neighbour-stalkingyou.html

MissFenella Sun 01-Sep-13 20:31:27

Find a time when you have a day off and break your key in the lock/lose your keys and then you can get a new lock fitted.

EldritchCleavage Sun 01-Sep-13 20:46:18

WillI did you get my PM? Was it any use to you?

ParsleyTheLioness Sun 01-Sep-13 20:56:55

Second MissFenella. I changed the locks knowing I wasn't really meant to. Unofficially advised it is ok in the reasons Miss has stated. Get safe first, argue the toss, if you have to later. If the police aren't interested in your stalking, hard to believe anyone will care about the locks.

WafflyVersatile Sun 01-Sep-13 21:31:48

If you have a bog standard 5 lever mortice lock then you can easily slip it out and replace it with another. (or take it to the lock shop and get them to match it) Keep the old lock in a cupboard and swap back when necessary.

WillIEverBeFree Sun 01-Sep-13 22:52:49

Eldritch sorry no, did not get pm.

EldritchCleavage Sun 01-Sep-13 23:04:21

Oh hell I must have done something wrong, DC were all over me as I typed. I'll redo it.

WillIEverBeFree Sun 01-Sep-13 23:09:13

Don't worry, please, it's very kind of you.

Tbh I have had enough today. Had conf that ex put neighbour up to the complaint to get me out and him back in.

Sorry, very low indeed. He is going to win I think.

WillIEverBeFree Sun 01-Sep-13 23:11:44

Am going to try to sleep. Thank you all again for your help x

EldritchCleavage Sun 01-Sep-13 23:17:39

OK, it's sent. Tomorrow is another day OP, and just remember we're all rooting for you.

TartanRug Mon 02-Sep-13 06:00:31

This is horrible OP. My ex got his two brothers to stand outside my house staring through my living room window every night for a week. Its scary and you must feel sick about it. sad

ZillionChocolate Mon 02-Sep-13 07:16:23

Do you know whether nosy neighbour rents or owns? Maybe hold off sending the letter until you've spoken to the Council.

WillIEverBeFree Mon 02-Sep-13 21:44:07

I am seeing the council on Wednesday and intend to ask if they can support me in a case for harassment.

Really don't want to move AGAIN but I think I will have to consider it.

How naive of me to think his conviction was the end of it. It's only the beginning. In the meantime his children are suffering, one is in a hostel with him and the other is with ex's parents.

Maybe I should do the decent thing and move so...

I won't but that's how it makes me feel.

WillIEverBeFree Mon 02-Sep-13 21:45:05

Zillion neighbour is council tenant, same as me.

WillIEverBeFree Mon 02-Sep-13 21:46:40

Thank you again Eldritch.

ZillionChocolate Mon 02-Sep-13 22:43:56

Good news that he's a council tenant. Make sure you take along any documents to the meeting. If you can work out a diary of what's been going on, that might help you explain it all and not miss anything out. Good luck with it.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 02-Sep-13 23:29:38

There are a few possible answers dependant on a few things.

If its a none mol issues under the family law act then its quite likely to be a breach as long as it contains words to the effect of...... Not cause alarm or distress or incite or encourage a third party to do so.

Its unlikely to currently be a breach if its a cps obtained one (usually made as a result of a criminal DV trial during the sentencing) but if it is one of these its fairly easy to get behaviour like that prevented in future

Are you in touch with the woman who threw your ex out? Will she give details of what your ex told your neighbour to do? Have you mentioned her to your solicitor?

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