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For 23 years, Heidi Schøne (41) has been sexually harassed by the man she met when she was 18. Now he is using the Net as a weapon of terror.
Tuesday 20.12.2005, 10:08
(Dagbladet.no) Yesterday Aftenposten.no closed its Internet pages to the half-Arab, Muslim Briton, after he had swamped their blogs with contributions. Several other Norwegian online newspapers have also been overrun by contributions from the man.
�He has succeeded in taking too many years of my life. That is what is so tragic. He has pursued me for 23 years. He had pursued another Norwegian girl as well, right in the middle of all this,� Schøne told Dagbladet.no.
For her the nightmare began when as an 18 year old au pair she met a half-Arab Briton on a boat trip between France and England . She was travelling with a girlfriend when she noticed a five-six years older man looking at her.
�I felt a little uncomfortable, so I moved away. But when we were queueing to embark, he was there again and tapped me on the shoulder. We went a long way in to sit down. But of course he followed and sat down there as well.�
The strange man was persistent but all the same pleasant company for the two girlfriends during the trip.
After the trip, they stayed in contact.
�We were never going out. But I did let him visit occasionally as time went by. I felt sorry for him so he was allowed to celebrate New Year's Eve with us,� says Schøne.
During the time in the UK , he became increasingly persistent.
�I was only 18 at the time. I did not know what I had done to him. The only thing I had done was that I did not want to marry the guy. I did not want to become a Muslim.�
She did not want to have any further contact with him when she later moved back to Norway . He then turned up there.
�He was extremely manipulative. If I didn't let him in, he created hell and pounded on the neighbours' doors. He bombarded me with telephone calls and letters the whole time. In these he told me how stupid and nasty I was,� says Schøne.
The terrorizing continued right up to 1992. The man was then committed to a psychiatric hospital in the UK . A Norwegian police official who investigated the case explained later that it was his mother who had him committed.
When he came out again two years later, it carried on � worse than ever.
He began to send other people letters about Schøne. All translated into fluent Norwegian. Hundreds of letters were sent to everybody from Den Nationale Scene in Bergen to the local bailiff's office, neighbours, friends and acquaintances, all the letters containing intimate statements about the woman.
When she went to the newspapers with the story, he came to Norway to bring a legal action against her.
Instead he himself was punished.
In November 2001, he was fined NOK 10,000. The District Court observed that the punishment was very mild. But the court chose to fine him because he was resident in England . He never paid.
In October 2003, he lost the civil action in the Court of Appeal, where he himself was arrested and fined again. He then appeared as a repentant sinner. After a full confession in the magistrate's court, the Briton was given a suspended eight month sentence and again fined NOK 10,000.
In addition, he promised to remove the Internet pages where he was conducting the persecution.
The Briton accepted the judgement on the spot, accompanied the police to a cash dispenser where he withdrew NOK 20,000 and then boarded the plane to England . Then he carried on as before.
When he lost the civil action in the Court of Appeal as well, he appealed to the Supreme Court � which dismissed the case in March 2004. On his Internet pages, the Briton says that he wants to appeal the case all the way to the court of human rights in The Hague .
At the same time he is continuing the persecution on the Internet.
�The worst thing � not just for me but for everybody who is living through it � is how little society reacts to it. It is crazy how he can simply continue,� says Schøne.
�In other countries, there are much stricter laws. If it had been in England , he would have been punished properly. Here he is allowed to get off with a fine time after time,� she says.
PS! A policewoman who conducted the investigation into the Briton is now being persecuted by name on his Internet pages.
CLOSED: Several Norwegian Internet sites, including Aftenposten and Dagbladet, have in recent days closed their servers to the Briton's IP address. This is a facsimile of contributions he posted on VG Nett. Facsimile: DB.no