Diary key to stalker case win

November 22, 1996

ROBERT Fine, the sociology lecturer who last week won a High Court injunction to stop a student stalking him, has called for universities to introduce rules to prevent similar cases in the future.

Dr Fine believed a detailed diary of incidents logged with the university contributed to the win.

He said a code covering stalking would have helped the University of Warwick clarify its position in the case. Eileen McLardy, a part-time student, has been ordered to stay 200 yards away from Dr Fine.

Dr Fine has become the first stalking victim to be awarded damages (of Pounds 5,000). The injunction forbidding Mrs McLardy from molesting, harassing or stalking the lecturer either at home or at university is thought to be the first covering a workplace.

Dr Fine said it was surprising that higher education had not yet taken a stand on stalking. He wanted unions to develop a policy and then negotiate with institutions. "These cases do come up and the university needs a policy - you can't rely on other rules and regulations to deal with it," he said.

Access to advice and counselling for stalking victims also was needed. He said the harassment had taken up time, created anxiety and affected his work.

The university had met its responsibilities, acted "very properly, and paid the legal costs, said Dr Fine. But he said he would have liked Warwick to have moved quicker and less cautiously. However, he was very satisfied with the judgment that he said was "a further step towards changing an inadequate law".

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