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Ronald Avery admits harassing Gullands Solicitors in Maidstone

By Natalie Tipping

A man who sent nearly 100 letters to a law firm and stood outside its offices with a megaphone has been ordered to stop his campaign of harassment.

Ronald Avery must also not contact anyone else about his grievance with Maidstone firm Gullands Solicitors.

At a hearing at Maidstone Magistrates' Court, the 64-year-old admitted harassment without violence.

Ron Avery
Ron Avery

The court heard how Avery had been involved in a road accident in 2000, and had suffered multiple fractures to his legs.

The Mill Street solicitors pursued a personal injury claim on his behalf, and he was awarded compensation.

Years later the Oxford Road resident was told by another party he had not been awarded enough money.

Probation officer David Mowbray said: “He still feels very aggrieved.

"There’s no doubt at all he is going about it in a completely inappropriate way.”

Prosecuting, Debbie Jones described how Avery had sent nearly 100 letters to the firm, some of which contained obscene or offensive language.

"This was a sustained campaign of harassment, which was frightening for staff and damaging to the reputation of the firm" - Judge Justin Barron

He had also stood outside the firm’s offices protesting.

In a victim impact statement, Arthur Gulland, chairman of the firm, said: “This has had a huge financial impact on us, I would estimate it has cost the firm hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

Sentencing, district Judge Justin Barron gave Avery 18 weeks in prison suspended for two years, and a restraining order not to contact or go to Gullands, or enter Mill Street.

He said: “My aim is to ensure this conduct stops. I do find these things so serious a custodial sentence is appropriate.

"This was a sustained campaign of harassment, which was frightening for staff and damaging to the reputation of the firm.

"I’m making it quite clear to you now if this order is breached, the 18 weeks imprisonment will be activated.”

But after protestations mentioning “organised crime” Avery believes the firm is involved with, the judge added further terms prohibiting him from publishing or causing to be published any information about Gullands, and giving him a 16-week curfew.

He must also pay £200 costs.

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