Hull Uni law grad handed restraining order for hate campaign against lecturer who he blamed for training contract failure

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By Alex Aldridge on

Luke Harker’s lawyer dream is surely now over


A jobless law graduate who sought to assuage the pain of failing to bag a training contract by conducting a hate campaign against his former lecturer has been handed a restraining order, among other sanctions.

Luke Harker’s unconventional method of catharsis saw him barrage Hull University legal academic Professor Christian Twigg-Flesner with a host of abusive emails.

Somewhat embarrassingly, though, Harker sent them from an email account he had registered with the university — hence his downfall.

The two month-long campaign saw Harker, now 26, send various threats to the lecturer. One stated:

I would love to throw you on your head and break your glasses.

This message was made particularly distressing, reports local media in Yorkshire, by the fact that Twigg-Flesner was at the time on blood-thinning medication for a health problem that meant any blow to the head could be potentially fatal.

In another email, Harker labelled Twigg-Flesner a “greedy negroid Jew”. Twigg-Flesner is neither black nor Jewish.

The former Hull student’s written attacks have their roots in a 2012 incident in the corridors of Hull University Law School where he bumped into Twigg-Flesner, Scarborough Magistrates’ court heard. Harker apparently thought the collision was no accident on the part of the law professor.

Yet his abusive emails weren’t sent until between last August and October — three years later.

Harker’s solicitor, Robert Vining, implied that the lingering bitterness about the collision was displacement as he told the court that the only explanation his client had offered for his behaviour was disappointment about his struggles to qualify as a lawyer.

In a subtle discouragement for Harker to apply for a training contract with his firm, Scarborough-based Tubbs & Co, Vining added:

I’ve personally told the defendant this conviction means his chosen legal career has now effectively ended.

Harker — who the court heard had previously been cautioned for harassing a female co-student in 2014 — admitted a single charge of racially aggravated harassment without violence. He received a restraining order, an 18 week sentence suspended for two years and 150 hours of community service.

The law graduate has also been barred from contacting Twigg-Flesner and visiting the university’s campus for 10 years.