AN ‘ABUSIVE and controlling’ Rugby man has been jailed after he carried out a relentless and ‘threatening’ campaign of contacting his ex-partner.
Eddie Grant, 52, of Featherbed Lane, was jailed for 22 months by a judge at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to breaching a non-molestation order for the fifth time.
Judge Peter Cooke, who said it would be ‘a triumph of hope over expectation’ to give Grant a suspended sentence, also imposed a restraining order banning him from having any contact with his victim for ten years.
Prosecutor Ramya Nagesh said Grant and his ex-partner had been in a relationship for 13 years, during which she said he had been ‘abusive and controlling.’
After they split up she took out a non-molestation order which banned him from using or threatening violence towards her or communicating with her in any way except through a solicitor.
But Grant repeatedly breached the order, even after being given a suspended sentence, and in September last year he was jailed for ten months – but released in December because of time he had served on remand.
He then began making unwanted contact with her up to ten times a day, with some messages apparently attempting to rekindle the relationship while others were threatening towards her and her new boyfriend.
Miss Nagesh pointed out that Grant’s ex-partner had not told him about her new relationship, and believed he must have been watching her.
The messages escalated, and on January 29 she reported it to the police after she received around 70, and she feared for her new partner’s safety because one of them referred to his address.
In a statement she said she was terrified of Grant and suffered panic attacks and was frightened to leave her home.
After his arrest Grant, who had previous convictions for breaching the order, common assault on his ex-partner and harassment of her mother, made no comment when he was interviewed.
Anthony Bell, defending, conceded: “Given the history, and given the chances he’s had, it may be that the proposals in the pre-sentence report are optimistic in the extreme.
“But it is my submission that the court could properly give this man one last chance. He knows he’s in the last chance saloon. He’s had a number of previous chances and has not taken them.
“But he has spent some time in custody, having been recalled on licence because of this, and was released in May.
“Since then there has been no repetition of contact with the complainant.”
But jailing Grant, Judge Cooke told him: “This is your fifth occasion of breaching this particular order since it was imposed, and the offences with which I am dealing were committed whilst on licence.
“It is urged upon me that the cycle which plainly needed to be broken may already have been broken, so I am urged to give you one last chance.
“But in my judgement this is in the top category of seriousness. The offending is by itself serious and persistent, even before one looks at the history.
“You were sending messages up to ten times a day. Some were imploring, and some were overtly threatening, with some indicating you were in the area, adding to a sense of menace.
“It seems it would be a triumph of hope over expectation to regard you as a good prospect of rehabilitation.
“That aside, I consider this is so serious that only an immediate sentence of custody is appropriate.”