SOME UNPLEASANT PEOPLE
In 1997, when I was teaching a class, a motorcycle courier, still with his helmet on, burst into my lesson without warning and handed me a writ. I asked him to leave the room, which he at first did not, until I stated that I would call the security guard (who as he was having his tea was unable to prevent the person from entering the building). The writ related to the matter described in my address below. The courier, incidentally, admitted to me in the corridor that there was absolutely no reason for his appearance there in such a manner and that he had been instructed to carry out his impertinent and illegal action by the lawyers and their client. Secuiry has since been tightened up at my workplace.
The client, a known and convicted drug-peddler, with a highly dubious and criminal history replete with shady financial swindles, worked in conjunction with a disreputable firm of lawyers whose own incompetence was their undoing. Despite what I pleaded below and despite the judge's rulings that the case was dismissed, these lawyers continued to ply their case again me but were again thrown out of court through incorrect procedure: hoist by their own petard, in fact.
The following address is to the Judge.
I accept the fact that I sent faxes of an uncomplimentary nature to the plaintiff. I do not accept, however, that this constitutes harassment which is defined as an irritation by persistent attacks over a length of time (possibly derived from the old French harer set the dogs upon).
I also do not accept that the plaintiffs medical condition has any specific bearing on this case. He has a long history of stress-related illnesses which are more probably connected with his work. Sebhorric dermatitis, anyway, contrary to the opinion of his doctor is now reckoned to be a genetically inherited disease.
The attacks can certainly not be described as persistent and, therefore, do not, in my opinion constitute harassment. We have not uttered a word to the plaintiff for over 18 years, have not been to their wedding or the christening of their offspring (indeed I am not even sure what the names of their offspring are) and the communications referred to in the writ refer to two isolated periods.
Furthermore, the faxes although regrettable in tone ,were certainly not unprovoked and should be placed in a historical context. I would, therefore ask your lordship to take account of the following mitigating circumstances relating to their transmission:
For twenty years we have been subjected to a continuously contemptuous treatment by the plaintiff (part of the reason why we have avoided communicating with him): This treatment, which because of its persistent nature does, in our opinion, truly correspond to harassment, includes:
1. Breaking into and entering into my property and removing furniture from it without any authority, thereby causing us to compensate heavily those letting my property as furnished accommodation.
2. Not notifying us of my fathers death, almost preventing us from attending his funeral and preventing us from attending the reception with threats of violence.
3. Influencing my fathers will so that we were left nothing upon my fathers decease whereas the plaintiff inherited all assets of his fathers business including premises, equipment and vehicles.
4. Insulting my wife Sandra Pettitt both personally and by phone on several occasions over several years.
5. Causing my wife to loose her job in a top secret foreign government department through his drug trafficking which led to the Plaintiffs sentence and imprisonment for several years.
6. Colluding with others and preventing us from knowing about the family holiday flat on Lake Garda in Italy despite the fact that most of our other relatives and friends appear to have been invited there as a matter of course.
In all the above cases (and there are many others but time is limited) although advised by colleagues in the legal profession that we have been treated unjustly and that we do have a case to pursue if so we so wished against the plaintiff we have failed to do so to date. In retrospect, we feel that this has been a mistake as it would have brought to the plaintiffs attention the fact that he was harassing us persistently through psychological torture for many years. (We shall, of course, pursue these cases now to seek our own damages so that we can pay off any damages the plaintiff may claim off us for this case.)
In a fit of frustration at the above continuing situation, exacerbated by a bottle of whiskey a grateful class had donated to me as a thank-you gift at the end of their course I vented my feelings regarding over twenty years of psychological harassment through the medium of the fax line to the plaintiff. In the course of this my only aim was to allow the plaintiff to feel a part of the torture my wife and I have been subjected to over many years through his actions.
Of course, two wrongs do not make a right but the repression of anger can only lead to true malevolence or, as Blake put it, "I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow." In other words, as a result of having sent these faxes we have expressed our wrath and, therefore, it is not likely to grow.
Finally, unlike the inconclusive medical evidence presented by the plaintiff our own medical history truly shows that our problems are related to the above history of harassment by the Plaintiff and his family. We are, in fact, both receiving counseling as a direct result of this.
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