Full case report

Monarch Airlines Ltd v Yaqub

Reference unreported
Court Queen's Bench Division

Judge HHJ Walden-Smith

Date of Judgment 11 Mar 2016


Summary

Harassment – Injunction – Protection from Harassment Act 1997


Facts

C applied for anti-harassment injunction against a former employee, D, to prohibit him engaging in a campaign against C through its employees via emails and on social media. He had sent a number of emails to C’s employees, who were tasked with liaising with him when he complained about the termination of his employment with C. He also posted messages on Facebook and made suggestions that he would attend outside C’s offices to protest.

On 16 November 2015 C sought an interim injunction against D. D gave undertakings to the court and directions were given for a trial of the claim, brought under CPR Part 8, in March 2016. The date was chosen in order to allow an application to strike out his claim in the Employment Tribunal to be heard first. The ET claim was struck out in January 2016.


Issue

  1. Whether D’s course of conduct constituted harassment under s1(1A) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997?
  2. Whether D had a defence to his actions under s1(3) of the Act?
  3. Whether an injunction should be granted under s3A of the Act and if so in what terms?

Held

  1. The course of conduct was not challenged and constituted harassment. The content of the emails and postings on Facebook was intimidating, offensive and frightening: Hayes v Willoughby [2013] 1 WLR 935 followed. It was appropriate for C to bring the claim to protect its employees: Merlin Entertainments LPC v Cave [2014] EWHC 3036; [2015] EMLR 3.
  2. D had no defence to his actions. He had produced no evidence to support his argument that his behaviour had been provoked by C or that he suffered from any recognised illness and even if he had done so that was not a defence under the Act: R v C (Sean Peter) [2001] EWCA Crim 1251; [2001] 2 FLR 757. He acted of his own free will.
  3. It was appropriate to grant an injunction prohibiting D from identifying certain known employees and former employees of C; from posting material about them on the internet; and from attending at C’s business premises.

Comment

An unsurprising finding based on the evidence. By using the Part 8 scheme as required, the matter proceeded to a final determination quickly and simply.


Instructing Solicitors

Bird & Bird for the Claimant; the Defendant in person