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Last Updated: Friday, 9 May, 2003, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
'Bullies' given arrest warning
Perth Sheriff Court
Perth Sheriff Court, where the case was heard
A sheriff has ordered that two girls can be arrested if they continue to bully a fellow pupil at a school in Perthshire.

Jenny Souter, 17, won an interim interdict a week ago against four girls at Blairgowrie High School after claiming she had been subjected to eight months of harassment.

The order was continued against two of the girls when the case called again at Perth Sheriff Court on Friday.

Sheriff Michael Fletcher authorised police to arrest them if they breach the court's instructions.

The non-molestation order also bars the girls from inciting other pupils to abuse, threaten or use violence against Jenny.

The interdict was withdrawn against a third girl after she gave an undertaking to the court not to repeat the alleged abuse.

The courts will treat any breach of the undertaking or breach of the interdict very seriously
Sheriff Michael Fletcher
The order against the fourth girl was continued for a week to allow her to seek legal advice.

Jenny's lawyer Mike Tavendale said she had "suffered greatly" as a result of the abuse and had not yet felt able to return to the Perthshire school.

He told the court: "Throughout the past six months, the defenders have shown a complete and utter disregard not only for the school, but also in their complying with certain standards of behaviour that one would expect children of that age.

"The result of that behaviour has been that my client has suffered greatly.

"She has not yet returned to school, but she hopes to return very shortly."

Request rejected

Mr Tavendale added that Jenny, who is a prefect, was to begin her Higher exams next week.

He said he was prepared to withdraw the interdict against the fourth girl on the grounds that she had played a lesser part in the abuse.

But he declined a request made on behalf of the youngest of the other three to make a similar undertaking.

Mr Tavendale said: "On the information disclosed, she has played a very major part in the catalogue of abuse which has taken place and in those circumstances."

Sheriff Fletcher said in granting the orders: "It is very important that the defendants realise that the courts will treat any breach of the undertaking or breach of the interdict very seriously."

He added that in the case of the girl who gave the undertaking, she could face jail for contempt of court if she failed to comply.




SEE ALSO:
Name-calling 'worst form of bullying'
16 Apr 03  |  Education


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