Your reference

:

10X00307

Penningtons Solicitors LLP
Abacus House

Our reference:

DMN/sa/3100948

33 Gutter Lane
London

Direct dial:

+44 (0) 207 457 3026

EC2V 8AR
Tel: +44 (0)20 7457 3000

Email:

David.Niven@penningtons.co.uk

Mr Simon Dennis,
Director of Legal and Compliance Services,
North Yorkshire Police,
Force Headquarters,
Newby Wiske Hall
Northallerton,
North Yorkshire DL7 9HA

Fax: +44 (0)20 7457 3240
DX: 42605 Cheapside
www.penningtons.co.uk

9 August 2012

Dear Sir,
RE: Mr Timothy Hicks FCA
We write following our client’s interview under caution on Friday 27 July 2012 at Fulford Road
Police Station, concerning allegations of harassment. We make the following comments
following that interview.
Much of the interview was taken up dealing with communications that have nothing whatsoever
do to with our client, to which he is not a party and/or has not authorised. Indeed, it was only
after much pressing that a small number of innocuous and completely factual communications
directly emanating from our client were eventually produced. It seems apparent, therefore, that
there is absolutely no substance in any allegation that our client acted in common purpose for
any unlawful purpose with others, including, without limitation, Peter Hofschroer. Accordingly, Mr
Peter Hofschroer’s conduct cannot be taken to be conduct of our client.
In so far as the communications directly emanating from our client is concerned and in relation to
the alleged offence about which our client was interviewed, we make the following points:
Protection from Harassment Act 1997
Firstly, we do not believe there is in fact a “course of conduct” and that the last incident
complained of may well be statute barred.
Leaving that aside, and as you will know, our client considers his communications are entirely
well motivated, both in the best interests of Mrs B Hofschroer and pursued for the purpose of
preventing or detecting crime, either by other members of the Hofschroer family or, indeed, by
members of York Social Services or the Police.
Moreover, he does not believe that the communications to which he was referred in interview in
fact amount to harassment.

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Even if, which is denied, a reasonable person would consider such communications amounted
to harassment, our client would still have a complete defence as he can show that the same
were pursued for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime.
Malicious Communications Act 1988
This legislation applies to communications which are indecent, grossly offensive or threatening.
We do not believe it is suggested that the communications to which our client was referred in
interview fall into this category.
The Act also deals with communications which are false and known or believed to be false by
the sender. Please correct us if we have misunderstood, but we believe it is alleged that the
communications to which our client was taken in interview fall into this category. If so, there is no
prospect of a successful prosecution as it is patently obvious that our client believes the content
of his communications to be true and provided credible evidence to support them in the
interview. For example, our client referred to the evidence he has accumulated of emotional and
financial abuse of Mrs B Hofschroer within the meaning of force safeguarding policy, fraud in
respect of the original transfer of 74 Rosedale Avenue out of Mrs Hofschroer’s legal ownership
and theft in respect of the disappearance of Mrs Hofschröer's property. In this context our client
will forward further evidence on the supposed burglary to Mr Murray in due course. Our client
also noted in interview that Mr Bednarski had withheld material facts from his witness statement
and forwarded documentary evidence of this to Mr Murray at his request.
You will, of course, further appreciate that additionally and in any event, you would have to
demonstrate that the intent in sending these communications is to cause distress and anxiety.
Even if in fact distress and anxiety has been caused, which our client disputes, the same formed
no part of his purpose in sending such communications, because he seeks only a happy solution
for Mrs Hofschroer, as he made clear in interview. Accordingly, there can be no prospect of a
successful prosecution as our client patently lacks the requisite mens rea.
Communications Act 2003
Finally, our client was interviewed about a possible offence under this legislation. Section 127
provides that a person shall be guilty of an offence if he sends by a public electronic
communications network a message that is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or of a
menacing character. Patently, none of the communications to which our client was taken in
interview amount to such.
The Act also provides for an offence if “for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or
needless anxiety” he sends a communication which he knows to be false. As already noted, it
formed no part of the purpose in sending these communications (which in any event our client
believed to be true) that they should cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety, even
if the same has been caused, which is not accepted. Accordingly, the prospects of a successful
prosecution are, with respect, remote, to put it at its highest.
Given the above legal issues and the facts of the case, we are, with respect, astonished that
matters should have proceeded to this level and stage.
The investigation, for reasons which are beyond us, is being conducted at a surprisingly high
level within North Yorkshire Police. Moreover, the decision to threaten our client with arrest and
extradition for summary only offences such as these, when a simple request for him to come to
York to assist in your enquiries would have sufficed and that he was not in fact arrested, is

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equally surprising. This is especially so as our client had stopped corresponding with the
complainants months before the Police contacted him. Please explain.
During our client’s interview he was additionally questioned about matters not raised in the
original communication to him sent by email on 21 June 2012. In particular, an interview with
Councillor Kenyon was raised which our client believes is a reference to a Private Eye article he
drafted. Our client was accused of “damaging North Yorkshire Police” which appears to be a
reference to the adverse press comment and parliamentary criticism that North Yorkshire Police
have received from Lord Maginnis over this case, which had nothing whatsoever to do with the
matters he was interviewed over. At the end of the interview our client was handed a letter from
DCI Pearson dated 27 July 2012 stating that he remained a suspect in the investigation. It
seems clear, therefore, that a premeditated decision had been taken that our client would remain
under threat of arrest and prosecution no matter what evidence or explanations our client
provided at interview which is unjustifiable.
DCI Pearson’s letter of 27 July 2012 also requests the removal from the internet of unspecified
material. Our client has asked us to confirm that he has no power to remove material from the
Real Whitby and Grandma B websites, or anywhere else. Our client denies publishing
“misleading allegations against officers and staff within North Yorkshire Police”, as alleged in the
letter dated 27 July 2012. We should also point out that this is not what DCI Pearson stated he
was to be interviewed about in her communication received on 21 of June 2012, and our client
confirms he has not posted anything on the Hofschroer case anywhere since that date. Our
client therefore asserts that DCI Pearson should not have written to him in her capacity as a
police officer on the pretext of investigating him in connection with allegations of criminal
offences and holding out the threat of arrest and prosecution; whilst at the same time
pressurising him to remove adverse comment about police officers from the public domain and
threatening him with civil action on behalf of unnamed persons, for unspecified allegations, given
that this is a matter of civil law which falls outwith her powers and domain. Should any injured
party wish to commence civil proceedings against our client, they are of course free so to do,
and should contact our client directly or through a solicitor in their own name, specifying their
concerns, instead of using the police officer leading a criminal investigation into our client, to
threaten him with civil proceedings anonymously on their behalf.
We therefore have considerable sympathy for our client’s view that the Police communications
and threatening manner in which our client was called for interview, are in fact motivated by a
desire to improperly prevent legitimate and lawful free speech and an indirect attempt to stop
further adverse publicity in Parliament and the press.
Our client has asked us to record that the IPCC has recommended that North Yorkshire Police
should hold another safeguarding investigation, which is also his position. Unfortunately, we are
instructed, the recommendation has been ignored. Our client asserts that at no point has your
force shown any interest in the welfare of Mrs Hofschroer and is in breach of its responsibilities
to her. This, coupled with the Interpol operation, the submission of misleading and inaccurate
information to the Office of the Public Guardian regarding the date of the transfer of funds by Mrs
Hofschroer (acknowledged by Mr Murray in the interview), the alleged failure of Inspector
Moreton to submit all of the evidence to the original safeguarding investigation and his alleged
failure to respond to correspondence, are the root cause of the current investigation and the
conflict between North Yorkshire Police and Mrs Hofschroer’s representative, our client.
Following the interview our client attended at Mrs Hofschroer’s home, to conduct a normal
maintenance check, only to discover it is being occupied and the locks have been changed
without her knowledge or consent. No doubt your complainants have seen fit to take this action,
which our client considers both constitutes further evidence of adult abuse and completely
vindicates the position he has adopted to prevent or detect crime or the abuse of a vulnerable
person. It is very difficult to see how and unless Mrs Hofschroer and her carer are able to return

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to York, her welfare can be safeguarded either by mediation or by the Courts. Barring and
occupying her home makes a return impossible, whatever the state of her health. Please advise
therefore what steps you intend to take to remedy this situation in accordance with your
responsibilities under North Yorkshire Police and City of York Council joint safeguarding policy.
Should North Yorkshire Police wish to re-interview our client or if they require any further
information from him, he is happy to return to York to assist you with your enquiries so this
matter can be resolved. In any event, our client will continue his moratorium on publishing
articles on “Real Whitby” on the case for at least another fourteen days so you have a fair
opportunity to consider this letter and the fresh evidence that has emerged, and reconsider your
position should you wish to. However, he will continue to e mail North Yorkshire Police in
connection with operational matters and Mrs Hofschröer’s welfare, as he has a perfect right and
duty to.
Please confirm that in the event a file of papers is sent to the CPS a copy of this letter and my
client’s e mails to Mr Murray will also be included.
We look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Yours faithfully

Penningtons Solicitors LLP
Cc
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass
Mr Donald Crawford
Maitre Luc Schanen

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