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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum