Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Smear Campaign Lands Man in Court

Homebuyer 'launched smear campaign' against estate agents

after being gazumped

rumors Pictures, Images and Photos

By James Tozer

(U.K., 2010) Martin Frostick is alleged to have sent out faxes falsely claiming the estate agent had gone bust

A gazumped homeowner took drastic revenge by launching a smear campaign to try to drive the estate agency he blamed out of business, a court heard today.

Martin Frostick, 53, was so aggrieved at losing the house that he circulated bogus bankruptcy petitions falsely claiming the Ryder & Dutton chain was going bust, it was alleged.

As a result, the agency was 'deluged' with inquires from clients worried about its financial state, the court heard.

It had to issue urgent public statements dismissing the notices as a 'malicious rumour' to save its reputation from being fatally damaged, it was claimed.

Frostick allegedly walked into a branch of the agency - based in Oldham, Greater Manchester - last June demanding information about a house sale back in 1997.

The complaint related to a house he had owned which had been repossessed, and he had later been gazumped in a sale, the court was told.

Staff said they didn't keep records that far back and Frostick left, slamming the door.

The following day he sent an email to Richard Powell, one of the directors, said Roderick Priestley, prosecuting at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester.

'It was some sort of grievance the defendant had with the firm over a repossession of a house which Mr Frostick owned in Oldham. He seemed to have been gazumped in a sale.'

Mr Powell then received 'abusive and threatening' faxes followed by a document purporting be a petition regarding the winding up of Ryder & Dutton, the court heard.

Mr Priestley said the notice was a fictitious one drawn up by Frostick. 'It was made by the defendant to damage the company,' he added.

The firm called the police after receiving a further email from Frostick containing 31 pages of names and numbers of companies to which he allegedly planned to send the fax.
Ryder & Dutton estate agents in Royton near Oldham

In addition, Frostick allegedly circulated a copy of an article from the London Gazette - which carries insolvency notices - altered to suggest Ryder & Dutton had gone bust.

He is also accused of sending a newspaper article about the collapse of Northern Rock which had been manipulated to carry the firm's name instead.

'The firm was deluged with enquires about the financial health of the company,' Mr Priestley said.

One leasing firm actually terminating a contract as a result of the rumours.

'What this man did caused significant inconvenience, stress and time,' Mr Priestley told the jury.

'So in order to protect their reputation they issued an urgent statement where they made it very clear that this was a dishonest and malicious rumour.

'What is clear is that Mr Frostick perceives that he has been wronged and 11 years later has decided to proceed with a complaint.

'But he, in effect, says because they wouldn't respond successfully to him, he then embarked upon this campaign.'

Frostick of Delph, near Oldham, was arrested two weeks later. Told about the cancelling of the lease agreement, he allegedly retorted: 'Good, I'm delighted.'

The trial heard Frostick admits coming up with the idea but denies fraud by making false representations.


Someone can only be DEFAMED if what you are saying about them is FALSE, NOT FULLY VERIFIABLE, ASSUMED FROM SCANT INFORMATION or UNTRUE.

If it IS TRUE - it is not: defamation, slander and/or libel. And you'd best be able to PROVE IN A COURT OF LAW that it is true. (Information that might possibly indicate something or you are assuming it indicates something is usually non-admissible.)

EOPC is held legally harmless - all claims of posted misinformation must be pursued THROUGH THE PERSON THAT SIGNED THE RELEASE TO US AND SUBMITTED IT IN THEIR COUNTRY OF ORIGIN.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cyber-Romance Ended by Police

(AUSTRALIA) An international romance, spanning the Pacific Ocean, that started with a click of a mouse has finished with a knock at the door.

Police, following a request from an Illinois sheriff, this week went to a Rockhampton man's home to stop his cyber affair with a woman from Peoria, USA. The man indicated he'd not long discovered from a third party their online relationship was on the blink.

However, the woman had complained to her local sheriff about harassing messages.

A police spokesman said the US sheriff contacted officers at the Rockhampton station on Wednesday night with the visit made to the man's home the next morning.

“He has stated he was unaware the online relationship was over until he was notified by a third party,” the police spokesman said. “He was still liaising with the young lady in the US before that."

“She was receiving this as harassment.”

He said the man agreed to stop all contact with the woman.

CQUniversity's Dean of Information and Communication Technology professor Mark Looi said online relationships were becoming increasingly common as more people went online.

Professor Looi said he was aware of other cases where authorities had warned someone after an on-line relationship went sour. However, he said he'd not heard of anyone being charged in these types of circumstances.

Any offence on the internet that originated out of Queensland was dealt with under the Queensland legislation.

Harassment complaints are generally covered under the Telecommunications Act, which has a provision that the internet not be used for this purpose.

Professor Looi said anyone who felt they were being harassed online should contact the service provider if the abuse was of a lower level. He said if they felt worried they should inform police.

original article can be found here

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Even If People Don't Like It - Freedom of Speech is Protected

(NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.) — A New Mexico man's decision to lash out with a billboard ad saying his ex-girlfriend had an abortion against his wishes has touched off a legal debate over free speech and privacy rights.

The sign on Alamogordo's main thoroughfare shows 35-year-old Greg Fultz holding the outline of an infant. The text reads, "This Would Have Been A Picture Of My 2-Month Old Baby If The Mother Had Decided To Not KILL Our Child!"

Fultz's ex-girlfriend has taken him to court for harassment and violation of privacy. A domestic court official has recommended the billboard be removed.

But Fultz's attorney argues the order violates his client's free speech rights.

"As distasteful and offensive as the sign may be to some, for over 200 years in this country the First Amendment protects distasteful and offensive speech," Todd Holmes said.

The woman's friends say she had a miscarriage, not an abortion, according to a report in the Albuquerque Journal.

Holmes disputes that, saying his case is based on the accuracy of his client's statement.
"My argument is: What Fultz said is the truth," Holmes said.

The woman's lawyer said she had not discussed the pregnancy with her client. But for Ellen Jessen, whether her client had a miscarriage or an abortion is not the point. The central issue is her client's privacy and the fact that the billboard has caused severe emotional distress, Jessen said.

"Her private life is not a matter of public interest," she told the Alamogordo Daily News. Jessen says her client's ex-boyfriend has crossed the line.

For his part, Holmes invoked the U.S. Supreme Court decision from earlier this year concerning the Westboro Baptist Church, which is known for its anti-gay protests at military funerals and other high-profile events. He believes the high court's decision to allow the protests, as hurtful as they are, is grounds for his client to put up the abortion billboard.

"Very unpopular offensive speech," he told the Alamogordo Daily News. "The Supreme Court, in an 8 to 1 decision, said that is protected speech."

Holmes says he is going to fight the order to remove the billboard through a District Court appeal.

original article here

(hat tip: Mary M.)

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Cyberstalking on the Rise


When John Carlin began receiving photos on his cell phone last year of his live-in companion with other people, he didn’t realize he was being cyber-stalked.

Carlin says he turned to police after finding an online ad with his photo that encouraged men to come to his home for sex, but got no help stopping the harassment.

He said police didn’t want to look at the ad or other evidence he had collected, including alarming text and e-mail messages Carlin said were from a man he met in a bar.

“Crazy people don’t quit,” said Carlin, 38, of Dearborn. “I’m the one that’s going to go to jail trying to protect myself, especially when the cops do nothing.”

Metro Detroit authorities say they’re getting more complaints of online stalking, as social networking sites and cell phones make it easier to connect with people — and harass them.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office reports receiving eight times more cyber-stalking complaints than two years ago.

In Dearborn, police saw cyber-stalking complaints rise from 12 in 2008 to 21 in 2009. The department has nine cases this year; Lt. Mark Tobias said he expects an uptick with schools open again.

“Cyber crime or anything else, our protocol is we will respond,” Dearborn Lt. Neil Myres said.

Recent high-profile cases such as the suicide of a Rutgers University student, whose intimate encounter with another man was broadcast online, have led advocates to push back against abusive cyber behavior.

The issue is attracting attention in Lansing, Michigan. State Rep. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield, proposed legislation last week to crack down on cyber crimes against children and teens.

“We need to keep up with the new threats to our children,” she said. “It’s not acceptable to intimidate, harass or embarrass anyone using technology.”

Nationally, the number of people stalked is estimated at 3.4 million, according to a survey based on the 2006 Supplemental Victimization Survey of stalking behaviors, released in 2009 by the U.S. Department of Justice. One in four — or about 850,000 — were victims of cyber stalking.

In 75 percent of the surveyed cases, the stalker was a former lover, friend, neighbor or roommate whose actions caused victims to fear for their safety.

The relative anonymity of the Internet and the explosion of social networking sites have spurred a new breed of online criminal who uses personal information as a weapon, said Deputy Erin Diamond, an electronic forensics expert in the Internet Crimes Unit of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.

Diamond said he gets at least two calls a week from police for help with cyber-stalking cases, up from one such call per month two years ago.

“You’re giving clues to where you’re hanging out, and that’s gold to stalkers,” Diamond said.

Diamond said local police departments “don’t exactly know how to handle the digital evidence” because it’s a newer crime and training isn’t widely available. And limited manpower forces investigators to choose between more tangible crimes, like homicide, over virtual ones.

Stalking is illegal in all 50 states, but laws vary. One expert thinks stalking is more likely to be prosecuted as a federal crime.

Nina Ginsberg, a criminal defense attorney in Virginia, said cyber stalking can become a felony when someone accesses another person’s stored electronic information and uses it to steal an identity, review bank records or make harassing phone calls.

“Getting into an e-mail account or Facebook account, snooping on them using the Internet or the telephone — that’s what cyber stalking is,” she said.

Jasmine O’Connor, a West Bloomfield computer repair technician, said more than two years after she divorced her second husband, she’s still being stalked and harassed.

When she learned her husband was seeing the mother of his child, she told him she wanted to end their six-week marriage and kicked him out of the house.

When he repeatedly called her at work, she almost lost her job. And when he could no longer reach her by phone, he sent her profane e-mails, she said.

The harassment has slowed, but “I just want it to go away,” she said.

Laura Gipson, 30, an administrative assistant at a Detroit hospital, said she couldn’t get a judge to take her seriously when a neighbor’s jealous girlfriend posted nasty Facebook updates about her and sent multiple friend requests daily for months.

Gipson blocked the girlfriend’s Facebook advances. Then, the woman confronted her at a party in late June. The two women fought in her neighbor’s apartment and Gipson was arrested. A court case is pending.

When Gipson sought a personal protection order after seeing the woman in July in her building, a judge refused her request, citing mutual harassment.

“To her, it was a ‘so what?’ kind of thing,” Gipson said. “People of an older generation don’t take things like that seriously.”

But the judge’s opinion in the Gipson case may be atypical.

“At some level, we shouldn’t be surprised that as tech develops that the stalker reflects society,” said Kevin Burke, vice president of the Williamsburg, Va.-based American Judges Association and a district judge in Minnesota. “It’s just one more tool for people whose aberrant behavior is to destroy somebody else.”

Additional Facts
If you're stalked - What to do

  • Document stalking behavior.

  • Print screen shots of unwanted electronic messages or pictures.

  • Save text and voice messages.

  • Contact an advocacy organization for help with stalking documentation and to develop a safety plan.

  • Report the crime to your local police. (do not leave the station until you have moved up the chain of command and gotten a copy of the written report)

Safety Net Project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence http://www.nnedv.org/projects/safetynet
Working to Halt Online Abuse http://www.haltabuse.org
National Center for Victims of Crime http://www.ncvc.org

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Proving a Stalkers Guilt Causes Distress for Victims

stalking Pictures, Images and Photos

The impunity with which a Brooklyn man stalks a neighbor exposes legal ambiguities that force victims to prove harassment before cops will act, an expert said Sunday.

"In stalking cases, the experience has been that victims suffer a great amount of frustration," said security consultant Sal Lifrieri."It becomes more dependent upon the victim to put the case together themselves and then bring it to the authorities."

That difficulty has been at the heart of a four-year-long campaign of harassment suffered by a Daily News freelance photographer at the hands of an elderly neighbor.

She says Allen Novell, 73, has followed her around the city for years, but since he has never directly threatened or communicated with her, authorities can't bring charges.

Novell - who has a history of assault - has denied stalking the photographer.

"Finding that line where you really cross over to criminal territory is kind of arbitrary," Lifrieri said. "If he is not approaching you, and not doing anything or causing any harm, it's much harder to prove."

In recent high-profile celebrity stalking cases involving Madonna, Uma Thurman and Ivanka Trump, the stalkers made threatening phone calls or posted creepy Internet messages.

In a case where there is no overt harassment, it is key to document the pattern of contact in as much detail as possible so there is clear evidence to give to police.

"You need to document all those times that it occurs. It'll show a history of the occurrences in very specific detail," Lifrieri said.

He also suggested that victims look carefully at their online profiles to make sure they aren't revealing too much about themselves or their whereabouts for a potential stalker to see.

original article here