A DAD-of-two who bombarded his ex-partner with phone calls and messages after he was banned from speaking to her has avoided time in jail — due to delays in the case.
Luke Bartholomew (31), of Spring Walk, Rotherham, harrassed his ex-partner between January and April last year.
Judge Graham Reeds told the defendant on Tuesday at Sheffield Crown Court that he would have been jailed if he had been sentenced nearer the time of the offence.
Instead he was given ten months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and was banned from contacting his ex-partner for two years.
Bartholomew attacked his ex-partner in 2015 and was convicted of battery for the assault, Ms Jade Edwards, prosecuting, told the court.
In January last year he was convicted of harassing her, and was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.
He was banned from having any contact with her for two years.
But weeks later, Bartholomew was texting and calling his ex-partner again and, initially, she had been responding.
She decided on February 23 not to respond to any more messages from him, Ms Edwards said.
Some of his messages told her not to contact the police or “grass him up”.
Bartholomew sent another 50 messages to her before March 13, including one which said, “Grass me, I don’t care”, and made phone calls despite her requests to leave her alone.
She agreed to see him later in March so he could see their son, but she regretted the decision instantly, Ms Edwards said.
“She changed her phone number and was sick of the defendant contacting her and wanted him to leave her alone,” Ms Edwards said.
In April, Bartholomew used two different Facebook accounts to send her messages and pictures of himself.
He later confronted the woman in the street while she was on her way to work, Ms Edwards said.
She had crossed the road to try and avoid him, and asked him to leave her alone, but he followed her for about five minutes.
“Following the incident she was left shaken because she was so scared and wanted the defendant to leave her alone so she could get on with her life,” said Ms Edwards.
In a statement which was read out in court, the woman said Bartholomew had no interest in their son but was using that to get back in a relationship with her.
Bartholomew, who admitted at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court to five charges of breaching a restraining order, has 15 convictions for 21 previous offences.
Mitigating, Mr Matthew Burdon said Bartholomew had not breached the restraining order since last April.
“This man has now turned 31 and knows he needs to get on,” he said.
“He expresses regret and shame for his behaviour.”
Sentencing, Judge Graham Reeds said: “Your actions caused great distress to your ex-partner – she wants you to leave her alone.
“If you had been sentenced nearer the time of the offence, you would have gone to prison for it, but the landscape has changed in the last 18 months.
“You have to come to terms with your relationship ending.”