HARASSMENT: Andresen v Lovell [2009] EWHC 3397 (QB)

21 DEC 2009

(Queen's Bench Division; Eady J; 21 December 2009)

A woman obtained an ex parte injunction against her uncle, on the basis of an incident in which he was said to have stroked her shoulders in a 'creepy' way some 20 years earlier, and another incident in which he had visited the premises at which she and her mother worked, looking for the mother, and asking questions about £20,000 which the mother was said to owe him. At the return date the uncle was out of the country and did not attend court. The court was given the impression that the uncle had run away, whereas in fact he was attending a family funeral. It emerged that the real issue was that the uncle had published allegations on internet concerning the mother's business on three different websites, although he had closed down one of the websites, 'parking' the other two, when the mother complained.

The woman had no cause of action. A one-off 'unwanted grope' was an isolated incident and not harassment justifying an ex parte injunction; the woman had no locus standi to bring proceedings in relation to the internet publications. The woman had misled the court in a number of respects. The injunction was to be set aside

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