Sex worker gets restraining order reinstated against 'narcissistic' stalker

The sex worker's client was called manipulative and misogynistic by a district court judge. PHOTO/FILE
The sex worker's client was called manipulative and misogynistic by a district court judge. PHOTO/FILE

A sex worker's five-year restraining order has been reinstated after years of harassment from a client that was obsessed with her.

After first paying for her services in 2012, the man began a systematic campaign of harassment when his advances were spurned, the Court of Appeal heard. The man sent her copious texts and emails, made numerous phone calls, would wait for her outside work and hired a private detective who called her mother to track down her identity.

"He became emotionally attached to her, but his feelings were not reciprocated and she refused his request that she make herself available exclusively to him," the Court of Appeal said in an earlier judgment published by the Herald last year.

When she filed for a restraining order, the client went out of his way to protract a course of legal action that was used to "play" with the woman, concluded a District Court judge.

The man, known in court papers as NR or Mr N, and woman, known as MR, have permanent name suppression and were referred to in court documents as R and M respectively.

The recently-released decision stated that M is allowed to file further evidence, seek reinstatement of indemnity costs and her restraining order for a period of five years has been reinstated.

Whereas R's appeals concerning the restraining order, judicial review, District Court costs decision and High Court's award of costs have been dismissed and he must pay M's costs for a standard appeal.

District Court judge Sharp noted several occasions when R acted improperly thereby causing a lot of unnecessary work. She called the large file "mind boggling" at the beginning of the judgment due to the raft of court documents filed by R.

Sharp called R clever, articulate and manipulative.

"Some of his behaviours have been Machiavellian in the extreme. He is flippant. It is very clear from his evidence both in court today and what he has filed, that he is misogynistic.

"If I were better qualified as a psychologist or something of that nature, I would wonder whether R does not suffer from a narcissistic disorder. That would certainly explain the manner of his conduct towards this applicant.

"In short, R's acts must have been utterly terrifying for M and would be terrifying for anybody in her situation."

The Auckland woman's relationship with her client detriorated when she suspected her client was stalking her.

The Court of Appeal heard the client gifted the sex worker a mobile phone in early 2012.

"He demonstrated the phone's features using his own phone, inadvertently revealing that he had been searching her car's registration number," the court said. At that point M demanded the man leave at once.

The jilted man seemed to have trouble accepting M's feelings, and repeatedly tried to contact her. He even instructed a private investigator to obtain personal details.

The courts understood the private investigator contacted M's mother and a former landlord to try to get these details.

The sex worker applied for a restraining order against the man under the Harassment Act.

In response to that harassment claim, R brought a civil claim against the woman. He also claimed she engaged in "malicious prosecution, abuse of process", defamation and was at fault under the Consumer Guarantees Act.

A District Court granted M a five-year restraining order and a judge said the man was "obsessed" with the sex worker. That court also dismissed R's claim as "untenable, frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of process".

M was awarded costs for both these cases.

R appealed these decisions and took the case to the High Court. There the judge reduced the term of the restraining order to one year. The reasoning was the harassment, as a result of the restraining order, had either stopped or reduced so there was no basis for a five-year order, stated court documents.

"The effect of the reduced term of one year was to end protection immediately."

- NZ Herald

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