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Non molestation order please help(25 Posts)
I have posted this in chat for traffic as need quick answers.
Best friend has just been granted an ex parte non molestation order against abusive ex partner. They do not live together nor do they have children but he has subjected her to about a decade of physical, emotional, sexual abuse. Has reported to him to police twice before now. He was arrested for harassment, released on bail and received a caution - she got the non mol order to prevent him continuing to harass her after his bail ended.
We are pretty sure he is going to contest it. They have both been called back to a hearing in a weeks' time but that is only fifteen minutes long. We were told that if he contests it the hearing will be adjourned and she will have to then return to another 2 hour hearing where he will get to present his case properly. She has PTSD as a result of his abuse and is going to find it extremely difficult to be in the same room as him. He has now been going round telling people he doesn't know why she's done this as it has always been her harassing him (not true). She does not qualify for legal aid but cannot really afford legal representation which we were given to believe is going to cost 1000s and 1000s of £.
Has anyone been through this process before who can give me any advice to pass on to her? Her ex is extremely good at playing the 'nice reasonable guy' as many of these men are. We are worried the court will buy his act.
Please help, she is in total turmoil about it. She had to get the non molestation order application in herself with zero help from any legal sources. Women's aid and similar organisations don't seem to be able to help either.
Tell her to call the national domestic helpline sorry don't have the number but Google it, they are fantastic and can arrange for legal aid and representation of DV has been proven and with a previous arrest that will have proven it.
The help they give is invaluable and they work really quickly.
I've used them myself and I can't rate them enough
Click on Report and ask for this thread to be moved to the Legal Section and MNHQ will move it for you.
Hi howcanhedothis - we'll pop it over there now.
ADesperate National domestic violence helpline have said they can't help her as she doesn't qualify for legal aid. all the women's aid charities have been nice but basically said as she doesn't qualify for legal aid they can't help.
There is no upper income limit for legal aid eligibility in DV cases (NB just for getting the injunction).
She may have to pay a hefty monthly sum, but it's better than self-repping.
She can contact the court in advance and ask for a screen between her and him, together with a secure room to wait in.
The charities can at least offer non-legal advice and assistance.
She could also try looking at her looking police station and see if they have a special DV team set up, I got a support worker from there who came to court with me a few times went over the paperwork for me to check if it was correct or there would be ways round him and when needed she dealt with the police to who then seemed to respond a lot quicker to me and the problems I was having were taken more seriously
collaborate thank you, I'll look into the monthly sum with her.
She already asked about a screen and was told in no uncertain terms that it wouldn't be possible despite her PTSD.
I'm just worried about him contesting it and the lies he will tell about her. How often are these things overturned, does anyone know? He is very manipulative.
She can get a screen. An email to the judge should put the court on notice that one is needed.
He can't contest the fact he was convicted.
The court I was in the screens were refused to
A positive note was he tried to play the victim
he is a very cleaver man tried to talk the back legs off them and they ended up extending the non mol for longer then asked for
collaborate he only received a caution, I didn't realise that was a criminal conviction?
He is going to stay she has stalked and harassed him and will say he has evidence. The problem is she has texted and called him before (mainly sobbing and pleading with him to stop being horrible to her) but the last 3-6 months all the harassment etc has been ramped up by him.
I'm just really worried the court will buy into his crap. He's not an idiot, he sounds very plausible.
A caution can only be given when guilt is admitted.
A caution is only ever given when someone admits they were guilty. dos he definitely get a caution or was he given a warning? A harassment warning is different and does not need an admission of guilt
Has your friend contacted Rights of Women? rightsofwomen.org.uk/get-advice/
It was definitely a caution. Does that mean he'll have less case for getting the order overturned?
Rights of women we've tried but seem to be impossible to get hold of.
He can't argue that he wasn't guilty for what he admitted when he received the caution.
If there have been incidents since the caution then her best bet really is to report them to the police-it would be ideal if you could go with her to advocate, so that her concerns are heard. It sounds to me like this is a case of harassment that needs to be charged as such. If he is arrested then bail conditions should be set to keep him away from her pending hearing and then at the hearing there should be an application by the CPS for a restraining order.
If she wants to continue with the application for the non-mol then she could do it herself, to avoid legal fees (although i appreciate this would be very hard). Could you go with her? You could ask to be a McKenzie friend and advocate for her. The judge should take note of the caution.
However, I would really encourage her to go the police route-they should take it seriously and the fact that he has already had a caution will encourage them to do so.
There haven't been many incidents since the caution as he was forbidden from contacting her while on police bail. That's why she got the non mol because she knew he would start it up again once the bail ended. While he was on bail he did push his luck - tried to call her a couple of times, turned up at work when he wasn't supposed to be there ( they work at the same place). Also put comments about her on social media about her. Police were told all this but have been utterly useless. I've completely lost faith in her. Theyve spoken to her like a naughty schoolgirl rather than as a victim of domestic violence. We were told by women's aid that a non mol was the only option to keep him away.
She's already got the non mol, I'm just worried about him contesting it.
Sorry to hear the police have been so crap. With that kind of activity on bail he should have been arrested. I assume they were made aware? If she is up to it I would make a complaint to the police-high level, in writing. Policy is that cautions should be VERY rarely used in DV cases. Also, if the caution was for one incident, and hasn't encompassed the following stuff that was on bail then I would make a complaint about this, and demand that it is investigated. Insist on making a statement about this other behaviour, if she has not already done so. Again, complain if no statement is taken. Ask for a referral to the domestic violence unit if there is one. Ask whether the matter was referred to the CPS for advice-DV matters always should be. If it has not been then it is likely that policy was breached.
I appreciate this doesn't deal with the non-mol. It's been a long while since I have dealt with civil process, but if he does dispute then there will be a contested hearing, with the interim order likely extended to the date of that hearing. Your friend has to remain calm-the Judge will be used to dealing with men like this-likely s/he has seen it all before. I would compile as much evidence as possible, and particularly ensure the police caution heavily features in her evidence-especially as has been pointed out a person has to admit the behaviour before a caution can be administered. If she can't afford legal representation then she should attend herself-it would also be helpful if you/someone else strong and articulate could attend with her. The Judge should help her out if she is a litigant in person.
Another thought-could you, or anyone else give evidence on her behalf-have you directly witnessed any behaviour/the aftermath of any behaviour? (it would be helpful to hear evidence from someone else, even if it is of the nature of 'I came over, she told me xxxxx had happened, she was crying/distressed/bleeding', or 'I saw the Facebook posts'). It may be that if there is a 15 minute 'directions' hearing then your friend could ask for permission to file a statement like this.
Thank you very much for your advice.
I will certainly tell her she can make a complaint. All breaches of his bail were reported to police and they were extremely dismissive, particularly with the social media thing - they said as he wasn't mentioning her by name they couldn't do anything about it. He wouldn't mention her by name as he is not stupid, but it was obvious he was talking about her. The caution is for harassment and possession of a weapon and was referred to the CPS (or so we were told). She had reported him to police for a previous physical assault in 2013 but charges were dropped on that occasion due to there not being enough evidence.
As part of her application for the non molestation order, she supplied 4 witness statements including one for me - both myself and others have witnessed her a) extremely distressed because of him and (b) have heard him abusing her down the phone or seen abusive text messages/emails from him. So there is no shortage of evidence but he is very good at twisting the truth.
We are also facing a bit of brick wall because they work together, and her employers are being extremely weak, saying they can't interfere with 'his right to work'. At present the non mol order states he has to keep a certain distance away from her at work but we are afraid he will try to get that overturned and say that it means it can't do his job (he can), as a way of gaining access to her.
Just such a long hard slog, feels hopeless that in this day and age a man can get away with behaving like this.
Get yourself a McKenzie Friend. For a fee much smaller than that of a lawyer, she can be accompanied to court and some will even help with her paperwork before the hearing. Self Representing in Court is a group on Facebook that may be able to provide help from somewhere.
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