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Threatened by member of my art class

(19 Posts)
Fortitudine Wed 13-Jul-16 12:40:06

I run a couple of art and craft classes in my village, and have done for several years.

Last year, a woman joined who I had reservations about as she seemed a bit flaky. She came to a couple of classes, but did not attend regularly. She then came back to class this year, and said she hadn't previously attended because she had been embroiled in taking her landlord to court (she lost the case).

She had missed about four classes, and texted me to say that it was because she'd had to attend hospital with a tooth abscess and had a bad reaction to drugs she'd been given. She then proceeded to unleash a vile, racist rant about "foreign, Muslim doctors", and how they should all be "sent back". It was appalling, and i told her that I thought her views were vile and disgusting. She then sent me a load of links to Britain First bilge. At this point I said that I was not happy with someone who held views that were basically incitement to racial hatred being a part of my class, and I would prefer it if she no longer attended. Unfortunately this has released the crazy. She's saying I'm racist to her because she's Welsh. She also wants a refund into her bank account of all money she's paid for classes, and has threatened me if I don't do so.

I am not prepared to refund money for classes she has (happily) attended, but now she is threatening me with small claims court. Any advice? I'm keeping meticulous records of any communication, but if I'm honest this woman scares me because of her unpredictability and extreme views.

Collaborate Wed 13-Jul-16 16:44:37

Refund her for ones going forward that you've banned her from attending, but stick to your guns about the remainder.

Mumblechum0 Wed 13-Jul-16 16:58:05

Agree with Collaborate. Strictly speaking you're in breach of contract for banning her from future classes, so it would be reasonable to refund for those ones.

When you say she threatened you, what exactly did she threaten to do to you?

dididotherightthinglastnight Wed 13-Jul-16 17:00:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheUnsullied Wed 13-Jul-16 17:03:09

Are classes paid for on attendance or in advance?

Fortitudine Wed 13-Jul-16 17:14:42

She has paid per class, so not up front, which in itself is unusual as everyone else pays by the term, but she kicked up such a fuss about that that I agreed she could pay when she came.

She said that I should be careful not to cross her or she'd see me in court!

TroysMammy Wed 13-Jul-16 17:17:25

I'd contact the Police. Threatening you, demanding money with menaces and racist rants. The woman is either unhinged or should be locked up.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 13-Jul-16 17:19:45

I'd completely ignore her. She'll run out of steam eventually.

Fortitudine Wed 13-Jul-16 17:33:08

She's just emailed me her bank details demanding I transfer money within 24 hours or she's taking me to court shock

TroysMammy Wed 13-Jul-16 17:34:44

Police. She's not going to give up and it's obviously upsetting you.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 13-Jul-16 17:36:46

Ignore her, let her take you to court, bet she won't though! Stop ALL contact.

Police if that doesn't work.

ProfYaffle Wed 13-Jul-16 17:42:26

Don't be intimidated by the threat of small claims court. The procedure is here It's usual for people to represent themselves and the court itself is fairly informal.

tbh I'd let her initiate proceedings. I'd be surprised if they even allowed it to proceed to court.

Itsallaswizz Wed 13-Jul-16 17:49:27

Ignore! She can't get money back for something she's attended of her own free will. On what grounds is she requesting that you refund her?!

TheUnsullied Wed 13-Jul-16 17:51:41

Just tell her she won't be getting any money out of you as she's only paid for classes she attended. Say that given her behaviour, you feel you've made the right decision asking her to not come to further classes. Then say you won't respond to further correspondence that isn't from the courts and will get the police involved if the threats continue.

Fortitudine Wed 13-Jul-16 17:57:55

I've decided to report her to the police as I've had three emails in the last ten minutes, of increasing craziness, and the last one included a threat to my family.

It's strange - I had her down from the start as someone who could be difficult, just on gut feeling - I even mentioned it to my husband at the time.

Itsallaswizz Wed 13-Jul-16 18:01:09

Oh dear, that's quite a different scenario then. I think you're absolutely right to contact the police sad. I hope she leaves you in peace.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sat 16-Jul-16 18:28:39

I'd send her one message saying don't ever contact me again (if you haven't already done so) and then ignore everything but keep copies/records. You're right to go to the police.

BetsOriginal Sat 16-Jul-16 20:21:30

Hope you're OK OP. I'd email what Unsullied wrote and then cease replying.

She sounds unhinged.

<Welsh and proud but not a racist>

Dizzybintess Tue 26-Jul-16 10:12:02

Hope this has all settled now. It sounds awful.

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