Sunday, 5 March 2017

Woman Harassed Ex With Online Paedophile Claims

A woman falsely branded her ex-boyfriend as a child molester during online chat's with his father.

Melissa Watson, 47, of Abbot Gate, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk ended up being arrested and prosecuted for harassment after the month-long exchanges.

She fought the charge, but was convicted after a trial of harassment between June 9 and July 19, last year and is now banned from contacting the victims.

Bexley Magistrates Court heard the Facebook Messenger chats were motivated by “malice.”

She was sentenced to a twelve-month community order, which includes a 30-day Thinking Skills programme and 15-days rehabilitation.

Watson was also ordered to pay £400 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

She was also placed under an indefinite restraining order not to contact the victim nor members of his family or attend an identified address.

Magistrate Miss Karla Lowe said: "It's serious enough to impose a community order," after being told there were "complex issues" and had been some legal argument earlier in the proceedings.

Prosecutor Sam Mitchell said: "There were aggravating features of publishing damaging information he was a paedophile causing him to be estranged from his employers and friends.

He had to have two weeks off work. They were false allegations on Facebook over a month.

"The judges at trial believed the victim's evidence and said malice was the motivation."

Watson's lawyer said there were a small number of communications over Facebook Messenger over a month.

The court heard their relationship broke up by mutual consent before she received information in April last year.

There was no planning, no communication with him.

Most of the contact was civil and when he asked her to stop making the allegations she did.

The lawyer said he was "reluctant to divulge too much of the personal circumstances," adding: "She works with the homeless on the streets by cutting their hair."

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