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Criminal law: Cheated husband 'harassed' wife and lover online

After reading a text message on his wife's phone that revealed her affair, Ian Puddick decided to get his revenge by using blogs, online videos and social networking sites to expose her and her lover to the world.

Mr Puddick, a plumber from London, has since been accused of harassment for his actions which caused "embarrassment and shame" to the lover, Mr Haynes, and his family.

Mr Haynes, a multimillionaire director of an insurance firm, claimed that Mr Puddick's actions forced him to attend counselling sessions for the "hurt and distress" caused to him. He also claimed that he resigned from his job as a result.

Mr Puddick re-pubished explicit text messages he found on his wife's phone from Mr Haynes. He also set up several websites with names such as timhaynes.co.uk and even banksyunmasked.net (named after the graffiti artist Banksy) in order to get more people reading his websites.

Using the business networking site LinkedIn, Mr Puddick contacted Mr Haynes' business associates and showed them his websites with their explicit content.

As well as details of the affair, Mr Puddick also claimed that Mr Haynes had "fiddled" with expenses.

During the case, Mr Puddick's counsel claimed that Mr Haynes' real reason for leaving his job was because he was being investigated for fraudulently claiming expenses when taking Mrs Puddick away on secret trysts.

Mr Haynes claimed that all his expenses were covered by his own money.

He said: "Every medium including Twitter was being utilised to create information about myself and the affair. The whole thing is causing my wife upset and distress. We are very anxious that, with the graphic nature of the website, children do not stumble across it."

The case will have strong implications for the way the law deals with unregulated social media sites in the future.

Mr Puddick said: "It is a very, very interesting story. I wish it was happening to somebody else and not me.

"But there are obviously big legal implications for the press and for the public. I've stood my ground."

The case continues.

Related links:

Read more on this story (BBC)

Learn how to protect yourself from online harassment (FindLaw) 

Find local specialist solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)