(1) A person stalks
at least two separate occasions, the person—
follows the other person; or
loiters outside the place of residence of the other
person or some other place frequented by the other person; or
enters or interferes with property in the possession of
the other person; or
gives or sends offensive material to the other person, or
leaves offensive material where it will be found by, given to or brought to
the attention of the other person; or
publishes or transmits offensive material by means of the internet or some
other form of electronic communication in such a way that the offensive
material will be found by, or brought to the attention of, the other person;
communicates with the other person, or to others about the other person, by
way of mail, telephone (including associated technology), facsimile
transmission or the internet or some other form of electronic communication in
a manner that could reasonably be expected to arouse apprehension or fear in
the other person; or
keeps the other person under surveillance; or
acts in any other way that could reasonably be expected
to arouse the other person's apprehension or fear; and
intends to cause serious physical or mental harm to the
other person or a third person; or
intends to cause serious apprehension or fear.
(2) A person who
stalks another is guilty of an offence.
a basic offence—imprisonment for 3 years;
an aggravated offence—imprisonment for 5 years.
(3) A person who is
charged with stalking is (subject to any exclusion in the instrument of
charge) to be taken to have been charged in the alternative with offensive
behaviour 1 so that if the court is not satisfied that the charge of stalking
has been established but is satisfied that the charge of offensive behaviour
has been established, the court may convict the person of offensive behaviour.
(4) A person who has
been acquitted or convicted on a charge of stalking may not be convicted of
another offence arising out of the same set of circumstances and involving a
physical element that is common to that charge.
(5) A person who has
been acquitted or convicted on a charge of an offence other than stalking may
not be convicted of stalking if the charge of stalking arises out of the same
set of circumstances and involves a physical element that is common to the
charge of that other offence.
(6) For the purposes
of this section, the circumstances of a dealing with material may be taken
into account in determining whether the material was offensive material but,
if material was inherently offensive material, the circumstances of a dealing
with the material cannot be taken to have deprived it of that character.
1 See section 7 of the
Summary Offences Act 1953 .