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Section 4A (Intentional Harrassment, Alarm or Distress)

One of the more common offences under the Public Order Act is the offence under Section 4A of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress.  If you are accused of this offence, the Prosecution must prove that:

  • You have used threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour, towards another person;
  • intended to cause them harassment, alarm or distress; and
  • that you have caused that other person harassment, alarm or distress.

Section 4A offences are frequently charged for incidents that take place in the street, often when people have become abusive or argumentative, but there have been no threats of using unlawful violence. The offence is very similar to the Section 4 offence of intentional threatening behaviour, as well as the less serious Section 5 offence.

The offence of intentional harassment under the Public Order Act is different to the offence of harassment.  The Public Order Act offence refers to a single incident where you have intentionally caused distress or alarm to another person.

The offence under Section 4A of the Public Order Act is a summary only offence, which means it can only be heard by the Magistrates Court.  The offence can carry up to 6 months imprisonment, so it is important that you instruct a solicitor who will prepare your case to the best of his abilities and represent your best interests.

The solicitors at Stephen Lickrish & Associates have dealt with many clients accused of these Public Order Act offences, and have a great deal of experience in securing not guilty verdicts at trial.  We represent the clients in Greater Manchester and the North West as well as throughout the Country.  If you or someone you know are accused of this offencecontact us to see how we can help you.

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