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Under section 32(5) of the CDA 1998, if, on the trial on indictment of a person charged with an offence falling within subsection (1)(a), the jury find him not guilty of the offence charged; they may find him guilty of either basic offence mentioned in that provision.Under 32(6) CDA 1998 if, on the trial on indictment of a person charged with an offence falling within subsection (1)(b), the jury find him not guilty of the offence charged, they may find him guilty of an offence falling within subsection (1)(a).
The Home Office issued guidelines in relation to the stalking offences.
Further information can be found at: In this legal guidance, the term harassment is used to cover the 'causing alarm or distress' offences under section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 as amended (PHA), and 'putting people in fear of violence' offences under section 4 of the PHA.
The term can also include harassment by two or more defendants against an individual or harassment against more than one victim.
The PHA was brought into force on 16 June 1997 and was amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 to include two new specific offences of stalking, through the insertion of sections 2A and 4A.
A court dealing with a person convicted of any offence, including those under sections 2, 2A, 4 or 4A of the PHA, may make a restraining order prohibiting the defendant from doing anything described in the order.
The primary intention of this type of harassment is not generally directed at an individual but rather at members of a group.
This could include: members of the same family; residents of a particular neighbourhood; groups of a specific identity including ethnicity or sexuality, for example, the racial harassment of the users of a specific ethnic community centre; harassment of a group of disabled people; harassment of gay clubs; or of those engaged in a specific trade or profession.Whilst there is no strict legal definition of 'stalking', section 2A (3) of the PHA 1997 sets out examples of acts or omissions which, in particular circumstances, are ones associated with stalking.For example, following a person, watching or spying on them or forcing contact with the victim through any means, including social media.The effect of such behaviour is to curtail a victim's freedom, leaving them feeling that they constantly have to be careful.In many cases, the conduct might appear innocent ( if it were to be taken in isolation), but when carried out repeatedly so as to amount to a course of conduct, it may then cause significant alarm, harassment or distress to the victim.This legal guidance addresses behaviour which is repeated and unwanted by the victim and which causes the victim alarm or distress.