News

Community order for junior solicitor who sent Bumble date abusive messages

By on
77

Victor Kruchinkin described former flame as a ‘gobby ethnic from Zone 8’ after she ended relationship

A junior solicitor has been handed a community order after he sent a string of abusive messages to a woman he met online, including one in which he claimed he only had sex with her to punish her for “being fat and for having saggy t*ts”.

Victor Kruchinkin, who at the time was a lawyer at Adams & Remers Solicitors in Pall Mall, London, described Miss X as a “gobby ethnic from Zone 8” via Facebook after she called time on their brief relationship, CourtNewsUK reports.

Southwark Crown Court heard how they met through the dating app Bumble in December of last year and met on two occasions before Miss X ended things.

According to the report, 32-year-old Kruchinkin then sent a number of messages to Miss X, including one in which he said she was “lucky to still be alive” and another where he described himself as a “psycho”. In a further message, he reportedly wrote: “I f**ked you as punishment for wasting my time, for being fat and for having saggy t*ts, for having a loose p***y and for being overweight.”

Property law specialist Kruchinkin, who was admitted to the roll in January 2018, is said to have told Miss X he’d created a false Facebook account to seduce her and she would never be able to trace him, the report adds.

Kruchinkin was arrested at work in January after Miss X reported the messages to the police.

In a statement read to the court, Miss X said: “I was unable to leave my house for the first few days for fear he was around the corner. I was extremely worried he would try and take my life. I believe that the crime was motivated by race because he used the N-word.”

The lawyer admitted a charge of persistently making use of the public communications network to cause annoyance or anxiety.

The report reveals Kruchinkin was originally sentenced to six weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, along with 100 hours unpaid work and 25 days of rehabilitation activity. This, however, was later reduced on appeal to a 12-month community order, 100 hours of unpaid work and 15 days of rehabilitation activity. A restraining order that previously barred Kruchinkin from contacting Miss X was also lifted.

Kruchinkin’s barrister, Tahir Ali, told the court: “He [Kruchinkin] did make a veiled threat. He met her on a dating website and he shared a night of intimacy with her. In relation to whether this offence was racially aggravated, it is my submission that it was not.”

Ali explained that Kruchinkin was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome which meant “he has a propensity to speak his mind without thinking through the consequences”, adding: “That may explain why Mr Kruchinkin wasn’t able to hold himself back — quite strange for a solicitor who worked for a commercial firm in the City.”

A spokesperson for the Solicitors Regulation Authority told Legal Cheek: “We are investigating before deciding on appropriate action.”

For a weekly round-up of news, plus jobs and latest event info

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter

77 Comments

Anonymous

Is it the fact that these messages were abusive or that they were threatening that makes them criminal?

If it’s the former then one has to ask, do we want to live in a society where abusive conversations are in themselves criminal? Can anyone honestly say they have never said anything nasty or offensive to someone in the heat of the moment?

Anonymous

If you respond to being dumped by telling the girl she’s lucky you didn’t murder her then I think you need to seek help.

I bet this bloke was one of the regular alt right posters on here. Trumpenkrieg has vanished lately…

Trainee

You seem to have missed the point. OP isn’t saying the acts shouldn’t be criminal – they’re asking on which of 2 potential grounds were they criminal: threatening or abusive. OP then suggests that comments that are abusive only (i.e. and not threatening, and I would assume also not part of a wider absuive campaign that amounts to stalking, harassment, spousal abuse, etc.) should not be criminal, as it is a low bar to set.

The comment is relevant because the headline suggests that the sentence was for a single unpleasant / abusive comment, when in reality it appears to be for making threats to someone’s life / a wider harassment and/or racist campaign.

Anonymous

Well that clearly depends on the scale of the abuse, doesn’t it – as you imply. Someone sending one message being “merely” abusive, perhaps shouldn’t be criminal (and probably isn’t).

However, he admitted to a charge of “making use of a public communications network to cause annoyance or anxiety” – which comments like “you’re lucky to still be alive” clearly come within.

I’m personally confused as to where OP’s moral panic is coming from here. If he’d been prosecuted for calling her fat and leaving it at that then I might see where you’re coming from. As it is, the content of the messages we have been given suggest he’s got off quite lightly if anything.

Anonymous

Yes but the question is not whether ‘you’re lucky to be alive’ or targetted harassment should be criminal, it is about whether it is criminalized (a) because it is offensive or (b) specifically because it is a threat or targeted harassment.

A just result in an extreme case does not make an overly broad rule good.

Anonymous

Why not actually look into the law on this area then? Read the statute and case law, check out the sentencing guideline, you know, like a proper lawyer. If you see it being misused to prosecute people for minor insults then by all means take a stand. There’s nothing in this article to suggest it’s being used anything but appropriately. I don’t why you’d choose this egregious case to question whether the law under which this weirdo was rightly prosecuted should exist.

Anonymous

Look, here’s the relevant section: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/21/section/127?view=plain

You’ll be wanting to look up case law on interpretation of “grossly offensive”, “indecent” and “obscene” (presuming you don’t object to “menacing”).

Don’t worry, we’ll wait.

Anonymous

I’d rather not rely on the government or the CPS’s interpretation of a broad statute to protect my freedom of speech. The point is whether it is capable of being considered criminal if charged, not when it is charged. Take a statute which banned criticism of the government but was never enforced. Would we be comfortable living in such a society

In regards to definitions, it is often very hard to find data on low level convictions, but if you want an example the CPS arguably abused s.127 (and were proud of it), note this one, where a teenager was convicted for *quoting* an explicit rap song abstractly as a tribute to a friend.

https://www.cps.gov.uk/mersey-cheshire/news/teenager-sentenced-racist-instagram-post

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/woman-who-posted-rap-lyrics-14543694

Also, note that ‘grossly offensive’ ‘indecent’ and ‘obscene’ speech is essentially legal if made orally in the street (subject to public order/harassment laws). So the basis of criminalization cannot be that these matters are bad per se. Lord Brown once offered an explanation based on the public (i.e. the taxpayer when they owned BT) not subsidising hate and sex lines and the like. That cannot apply on Bumble on Whatsapp.

The reason it is brought up in an egregious case is that it seems the egregious nature of the case (death threats, menace) were not the basis of it being criminalized. That sets a dangerous precedent.

Anonymous

We’ll wait…and wait…and wait…although its already been explained.

Anonymous

You’re still missing the point. OP was clearly differentiating between abusive behaviour and threatening behaviour. Its an important distinction.

Anonymous

What relevance is that? The statute doesn’t allow for prosecution of abusive or threatening behaviour. It criminalises grossly offensive, obscene, indecent or menacing communications.

Anonymous

You’re still missing the point. Its relevant for the reasons stated by the OP. Kruchinkin was prosecuted for ‘persistently making use of the public communications network to cause annoyance or anxiety’, as per the article.

The (relevant) question is: was the behaviour prosecuted because it was felt to be threatening or because it was felt to be abusive? There is an important difference.

Anonymous

Genuinely threatening messages should be a criminal matter, abusive messages, while unpleasant, should not. Wasn’t she able to block him?

Anonymous

Presumably he knew her name and where she lived, so a message about killing her isn’t really resolved by blocking him is it.

Anonymous

It obviously is resolved if he was blocked before the message was even sent, isn’t it though.

Anonymous

A) Why is the onus on the victim to stop the criminal saying she’s lucky he didn’t kill her?

B) How do you know she even had time to block him before he sent anything threatening?

C) Are you suggesting that all women who dump someone should immediately block that person in case the man gets abusive, and that it is their fault for being abused if they don’t do so?

Anonymous

A) It isn’t an ‘onus’, its a suggestion that its better to block the message rather than receive it.

B) I don’t know, hence the question about whether she was able to block him. How do you know she wasn’t able to block him?

C) Clearly not. Are you? Why do you only refer to women who dump men and men who become abusive and not vice-versa?

Try to address the comments actually made, not the comments you would like to have been made.

Anonymous

A) it would have been better if she’d never had the misfortune to date this moron in the first place, but what relevance is that? Courts don’t give out life advice to victims, not should they, but they do give out sentences to criminals.

Anonymous

But what possible relevance does her blocking it have to do with his criminal sentence?

The only relevance I can see is if you are arguing he’s not really as responsible for it because she should have blocked him.

Your original point, may I remind you (slightly paraphrased), was “abusive messages should be legal. Wasn’t she able to block him?”

What are you trying to achieve with this post if not to imply his messages were “merely” abusive, and that she should have just blocked him?

Obviously men can be abused but one wasn’t here so it’s not relevant. Don’t get all whingy MRA.

Anonymous

A) Its obviously relevant otherwise the texts wouldn’t have been sent and we wouldn’t be discussing it! It may have escaped your attention, but the comments section of Legal Cheek is not a court. Much easier to block messages if possible than go to court, it doesn’t take a genius to advise that.

Anonymous

The obvious relevance is that if she was able to block him and had done so, the message wouldn’t have been sent, which would probably have been better for everyone.

You didn’t ‘slightly paraphrase’ the original comment, you misrepresented it and omitted part of it. It read:

Genuinely threatening messages should be a criminal matter, abusive messages, while unpleasant, should not. Wasn’t she able to block him?

The question still stands.

The previous commenter referred only to women who dump men and men who become abusive, without referring to men who dump women and women abusing men. Sorry you feel that to question this is whingy MRA.

Anonymous

“The obvious relevance is that if she was able to block him and had done so, the message wouldn’t have been sent, which would probably have been better for everyone.”

What conclusion are you trying to draw from this? Again you seem to be suggesting some onus is on her to block him.

It’s what supporters of abusers do to deflect blame from the abuser. “If the victim had just blocked them then the racist abuse and death threats wouldn’t have happened – I’m just saying that, you’re the one drawing conclusions”. Subtext obviously being “people can block abusers and not receive further abuse, so therefore any further abuse is on them”.

Anonymous

Again, its not an ‘onus’, but its better (for everyone) if the messages were blocked and not received rather than received. If the option is there why not use it, regardless of who is to blame.

You’re suggestion is that people leave themselves open to abuse and threats which they are able to prevent – that just looks like twisted logic. Still not clear whether she could block the messages or not.

Anonymous

“If the option is there why not use it, regardless of who is to blame.”

Sure, but that has no relevance to the bloke’s criminality in sending the message and does not go any way to alter his moral or criminal responsibility for the abuse/death threat.

“You’re suggestion is that people leave themselves open to abuse and threats which they are able to prevent – that just looks like twisted logic. Still not clear whether she could block the messages or not.”

Where did I suggest this? I’m just saying that the ability to block someone has literally no relevance to the issue of criminal or moral responsibility. You on the other hand appear to be implying that since the victim can block someone, they share some part (however small) of the blame for receiving abuse. THAT is twisted logic.

Otherwise, what are you trying to achieve by pointing out that people can block messages? People can also not open their mail but you wouldn’t write that as a comment if someone got sent anthrax in the post. The only discernible difference is that here it is a woman receiving abuse from a man on the internet, which loons always seem to respond to with “just block him what’s the big deal”.

Anonymous

The obvious relevance is that if she could have blocked him and did so, there would have been no criminality. Its that simple. Not sure he has criminal respinsibility for abuse, if he does, he shouldn’t.

The mail analogy really is very bad as its possible to block one phone number without blocking them all.

If you’re suggesting that she doesn’t block him (as you are) then you’re suggesting that she leave herself open for abuse. That is twisted logic. You can’t have it both ways.

Its just common sense to block someone on occasions such as these – you need to be able to separate the act of blocking in your mind from whether or not the messages should be sent.

And men are abused over the internet too, such as being called ‘loons’ for suggesting a common sense approach to preventing threats and abuse.

Anonymous

Cruel.

Anonymous

Another candidate for the penis guillotine!

Penis guillotine man

Another candidate for the penis guillotine!

Anonymous

If the question is ‘do I want to live in a society where punishing a woman who does not want to date a man by sending her persistent, vicious and degrading messages – including racial abuse – is illegal, whether those messages are threatening or offensive’, then the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

Anonymous

If genuinely threatening yes, if offensive the answer is a resounding ‘no’. And of course the same applies to men who don’t want to date women.

Anonymous

Ah I see you have no issue with persistent, ongoing, racial harassment. You are content to – no, you want to – live in a society where it is fine to over and over and over and over and over again racially abuse someone.

Anonymous

No, you don’t see. It shouldn’t be illegal to be offensive. You’re really downplaying racial abuse if you think its the same as merely being offensive. And you seem to imply that it should be illegal to racially abuse someone once but not repeatedly.

And don’t make the mistake of thinking because something shouldn’t be illegal then people are content with it or it is desirable – its very naive.

Anonymous

So you are happy for someone to repeatedly, over and over again issue abuse, send messages all time of the day and night, carry out a sustained campaign of harassment, and for all that to be A-OK and above the law provided the victim doesn’t feal physically threatened?

Don’t lecture me on racial abuse, son. Also, see my previous post “over and over and over and over and over again racially abuse someone”. Twisting that to say that I am talking about abuse that is “once but not repeated” is dishonest.

On the second point, either you want something done about it or you don’t. Your position seems to be that you want to wring your hands and say ‘oh deary me, isn’t that abuse horrid’ then let it continue regardless. So that makes you perfectly content for it to continue. That makes you a supporter.

Anonymous

I don’t think you’ve read the comments previously. Merely offensive comments, whether repeated or not, shouldn’t be illegal. They can easily be ignored or blocked. The fact that you equate merely offensive comments with racial abuse means that you are trivialising racist abuse. That makes you a supporter.

On the second point, its hugely childish and naive to think that not believing something should be illegal is the same as being ‘happy’ or ‘content’ with it. Grow up!

Anonymous

Put another way, you’re totally cool with stalking so long as it doesn’t get physically threatening.

Anonymous

No, because offensive comunications have nothing to do with ‘stalking’ (whatever ‘stalking’ is). They can be ignored or blocked.

Again, very naive to think that not thinking something should be illegal is the same as being ‘totally cool’ about it.

Anonymous

Law firms seem to be full of these cringey guys tbh.

Kronos

Not Greenberg Glusker LLP. Inspired by the Sultans of Constantinople, we recruit only shaven eunuchs.

Anonymous

Not my firm.

Anonymous

You sound like you might be one of them lmao

Drumpfenkrieg

She should be prosecuted for wasting police time. Joke of a feminisedjustice system

Anonymous

Yawn

Steven Strange

She should know that Thor is fat, Cap wields Thor’s hammer, and Tony dies when he uses the infinity stones to kill Thanos.

Anonymous

Poor lass

Anonymous

Sexist pig. Why can’t you stop oppressing women for one minute?

anonymous

if a guy can get his training contract revoked for bumping train fares then so should this guy

Anonymous

He wasn’t a trainee, and he was fired, moron.

FiveGuysOneHotdog

Hi Adam!

Anonymous

A lot of the guys at these firms tend to be failed bankers. I’d live my life in constant anger too if I were in that position.

Anonymous

They also tend to be short and Eastern European.

Coincidence? I think not.

Anonymous

SRA: 200k costs

Anonymous

Absolute demon, those messages are foul

CMS 4th Seat Trainee

What’s an Adam & Remer – is it a top firm? Also what do they pay on NQ. Just out of interest of course.

CMS 4th Seat Trainee

Thank you Tim. Is it a top firm?

Anonymous

Isn’t the point of dating apps to find new people easily if a date doesn’t work out?

Thank U, Next.

Ariana Grande

Agreed

Anonymous

Bet he studied at oxbridge sounds like the sort of over privileged twats they produce

Anonymous

Don’t know. Could well be an LSE International Student – the flat in Knightsbridge while studying type.

Anonymous

It’s rude to talk about her like that.

Anonymous

The legal system has better things to use its resources on that the over-reaction of someone who could not just delete text messages from a tool.

Anonymous

Gobby ethnic from zone is a new insult I have heard and will consider using from time to time

Anonymous

You think that’s funny?

Joe Pesci

What do you mean I’m funny?

Person of Tinge

Is “ethnic” a synonym for “person of tinge?”

CC Senior Associate

Can I have his job as a lateral hire?

Anonymous

What is wrong with you?

Anonymous

Comments started vanishing again, well done LC

JC

If the victim lived in zone 8 and he worked in the City, at least she could be safe in the knowledge that it would take him a considerable amount of time to reach her home after work. Imagine what traps Macauly Culkin could set with that sort of time!

Anonymous

Zone 8 comprises of Chalfont & Latimer, Bushey, Cheshunt, Watford High Street, Dartford and Swanley. So not even near London.

Anonymous

Tbf, do you think he actually confirmed which zone her place of residence was in before firing off this missive?

Anonymous

Snowflakes should just delete texts and get on with their lives. This sort of nonsense should not trouble the courts.

John the goat hunter

To waste everything for a few dumb ass texts dont know whether to pitty him or just think it’s just deserts

Anonymous

Who is your regulator? That’s the test.

Anonymous

Note the lack of clarification to a simple question. Would indicate the answer.

Anonymous

What do the 15 days of rehabilitation activity involve?

City trainee

Newsflash, Tin pot law firm hires tin pot lawyers. Is anyone surprised?

You’re an idiot.

No, not concerned at all. I’m not concerned because if you had actually searched the roll correctly, you would see that he is on there. SRA ID is 359100

Join the conversation

Related Stories