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And so the SMS madness continues. A crazed husband went on a three-month intimidation spree of his estranged wife using threatening text messages to get his point across.

One of the messages said: "Next time I come around I will kill you and it will be slow and painful." Eventually Anuschka Pogue could take it no more and informed police of her husband's behaviour. Jeremy Pogue, a toolmaker, is now in court over the issue. His terrorising wasn't merely constrained to mobile messages either - he made silent phone calls, threatened her face-to-face and left notes, one saying "The war has begun".

The police have come up with a snappy word for the modern disease - textual harassment. We haven't spoken to a psychologist because they rarely tell us anything commonsense doesn't already, but if we had, he'd say something like this. "The text message may be a useful and simple mode of communication, but it also allows the individual to impart information without direct contact. This advantage can be subverted however with threatening text messages. In that case, an individual does not have direct contact and the sender has control.

"Face-to-face conflict is, in nature, the most efficient way of dealing with disputes. It is only man that has devised ways of indirect conflict. In a civilised world this has great advantages in dealing with matters such as legal disputes but when it comes to threat of violence, an indirect approach is far more 'chilling'".

Or he could have said: "Text messages are incredibly creepy if threatening." ®

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SMS can get you in trouble with the law

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