Letter: No one deserves to be stalked

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Sir: Emma Daly's article on the new Protection from Harassment Bill ("For talking, read stalking", 17 December) was astonishing.

Spurned lovers throwing things through windows, writing on or scratching cars, telephoning at all hours of the day et al are not behaving criminally, we are told; presumably because of the defence of crime passionnel. (It seems to be overlooked that such a defence is in fact mitigation for behaviour that has already been deemed criminal).

"Sarah", in the case study Ms Daly gave, even concluded: "Sometimes people deserve to be harassed." Anyone who has suffered at the hands of a disgruntled ex-partner would recognise such an attitude. It is to be hoped that the new Bill will encourage the police to take such "domestic" crime more seriously, for there is no doubt that it is criminal, whatever the mitigation.

PHIL McLAUGHLIN

Glasgow

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