Man cleared of web harassment

A cuckolded husband was cleared today of harassing his wife's millionaire lover over the internet.









Plumber Ian Puddick, 41, tweeted, blogged and posted videos online after being enraged by his spouse's 10-year relationship with City director Timothy Haynes.



Campaigners for free expression online celebrated at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court as District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe delivered a not guilty verdict after a three-day trial.



Puddick found out about his PA wife Leena's affair after reading a text message on her phone and discovering photographs of Mr Haynes performing sex acts in May 2009.



She met Mr Haynes after joining insurance firm Guy Carpenter in 1997. Their relationship gathered pace after they had sex after a Christmas party in 2002.



The affair continued until the May bank holiday in 2009 when Mr Puddick discovered a text message while he sunbathed in his garden in Enfield, north London.



The message spoke of a sex act and added: "You are such a sensual girl."



Mr Haynes was sending Mrs Puddick 30 to 40 text messages a day, some of them with graphic sexual detail.



They wined and dined together, with Mr Haynes commenting that she was "reassuringly expensive".



Mr Haynes, from Billingshurst, West Sussex, admitted he had been deceitful but said Puddick should have taken up his anger with him alone.



In tearful scenes at City of Westminster Magistrates Court, Mrs Puddick, 36, also claimed she suffered a miscarriage after Mr Haynes's wife, Annja, said she hoped her baby died.



But Mrs Haynes denied telling Mrs Puddick by phone: "I hope you never have children, I hope you never get pregnant and, if you do, I hope that baby dies."



Mrs Puddick had said Mr Haynes wanted to set her up in a flat as a "kept woman" after their extra-marital affair was exposed.



She also said she helped Mr Haynes, 52, fabricate his expenses to ensure that he was not wining and dining her out of his own pocket.



At one point he emailed her of his sadness that the relationship was over, writing: "Ignoring me is like the sun not rising."



Mr Haynes was attacked for his "extreme arrogance" during defence lawyer Michael Wolkind's closing speech.



In seeking to secretly continue the relationship after it was exposed, Mr Haynes illustrated how arrogant and deceitful he was, the court heard.



Mr Wolkind said there were many routes to an acquittal for Puddick.



"He is a man I present to you as a man whose evidence can be trusted completely," Mr Wolkind told the court.



"In contrast to Ian Puddick, Tim Haynes is a man whose evidence cannot be trusted at all.



"We know that 'Team Tim Haynes' wanted to deal with things in their own way. They wanted to smooth things over, they wanted to move on. Ian Puddick was not compelled to do the same."









Mr Puddick shook his fist and smiled amid cheers from the public gallery as two not guilty verdicts for internet harassment were returned.

After giving his wife a kiss, he said: "For the last 12 months this has taken over my life. Purely and simply there has been an abuse of power.



"It this can happen to me it can happen to anyone.



"It is absolutely a victory for free speech and the small man. I'm a plumber and drive around in a Transit."



He set up a string of websites and confronted Mr Haynes after finding out about the affair by reading a text message on her phone.



He also discovered photographs of Mr Haynes performing sex acts in May 2009.



Mr Haynes, from Billingshurst, West Sussex, admitted he had been deceitful but said Mr Puddick should have taken up his anger with him alone.









Mrs Puddick, who met Mr Haynes after joining insurance firm Guy Carpenter in 1997, said she was "looking forward to getting my husband back".

Mr Puddick added: "She's been on tea duty for the past two years."



The extra-marital relationship gathered pace after the colleagues had sex following a Christmas party in 2002.



The affair continued until the May bank holiday in 2009 when Mr Puddick discovered a text message while he sunbathed in his garden in Enfield, north London.



The message spoke of a sex act and added: "You are such a sensual girl."



Mr Haynes was sending Mrs Puddick 30 to 40 text messages a day, some of them with graphic sexual detail.



They wined and dined together, with Mr Haynes commenting that she was "reassuringly expensive".



In tearful scenes at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court, Mrs Puddick, 36, claimed she suffered a miscarriage after Mr Haynes's wife, Annja, said she hoped the baby died.



But Mrs Haynes denied telling Mrs Puddick by phone: "I hope you never have children, I hope you never get pregnant and, if you do, I hope that baby dies."



Mrs Puddick had said Mr Haynes wanted to set her up in a flat as a "kept woman" after their extra-marital affair was exposed.



She also said she helped Mr Haynes, 52, fabricate his expenses to ensure he was not wining and dining her out of his own pocket.



At one point he emailed her of his sadness that the relationship was over, writing: "Ignoring me is like the sun not rising."



Mr Haynes was attacked for his "extreme arrogance" during defence lawyer Michael Wolkind's closing speech.



In seeking to secretly continue the relationship after it was exposed, Mr Haynes illustrated how arrogant and deceitful he was, the court heard.



Mr Wolkind said there were many routes to an acquittal for Mr Puddick.



"He is a man I present to you as a man whose evidence can be trusted completely," Mr Wolkind told the court.



"In contrast to Ian Puddick, Tim Haynes is a man whose evidence cannot be trusted at all.



"We know that 'Team Tim Haynes' wanted to deal with things in their own way. They wanted to smooth things over, they wanted to move on. Ian Puddick was not compelled to do the same."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003