AN EX-BOYFRIEND who harassed his former partner into paying him hundreds of pounds signed off a stream of threatening messages with “kind regards, Christopher”.
Christopher Morris (24) made his ex-partner’s life “living hell”, with messages of a “threatening or sexual nature” and threatened to assault him if he didn’t pay up, Sheffield Crown Court was told.
Morris, pictured, was ordered to repay £339 after the court was told how, following the breakdown of their relationship, he had demanded money in a series of emails and texts — including 25 messages with his polite email signature.
Ms Amy Earnshaw, prosecuting, said Morris had been in a relationship with his partner for about three years until last August.
She said Morris had begun communicating with his ex-partner again last October shortly after the defendant had begun a new relationship.
Morris told his ex that his new partner had died and asked for £500 so he could go to his funeral in Poland.
Ms Earnshaw said the complainant had agreed to pay that money and Morris had then felt able to ask for more money.
Morris threatened to go to his ex-partner’s home and assault him if he didn’t send him the money.
His ex-partner had believed those threats would be carried out, Ms Earnshaw said.
“The only way the complainant felt he could get him to stop was to give him the money he had asked for,” she said.
Morris told his ex to pay him £100 or he would send drug dealers to his house.
The victim tried blocking Morris’ email address but he had set up new accounts, Ms Earnshaw said.
“The emails were always signed off ‘kind regards, Christopher’,” Ms Earnshaw said.
Morris sent 25 emails to his ex-partner between October and January — most of them of a threatening or sexual nature.
His ex-partner paid him a total of £339, which he said he would not have done without the threats having been made, Ms Earnshaw said.
Morris denied blackmail and that plea was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service, which offered no evidence on the charge, but he pleaded guilty to harassment.
Morris’ victim said his ex-partner’s threats had made his life a “living hell”, Ms Earnshaw said.
Mitigating, Mr Ian Goldsack said Morris had a very limited recollection of the majority of the messages he had sent to his ex-partner.
“He was in a significant state of intoxication, primarily through alcohol, at the time those messages were sent,” he said.
“He very much regrets what he did and its impact on his previous partner.”
Mr Goldsack said Morris had “more or less stopped” drinking and had reduced his use of cocaine.
He said he was earning £1,300 a month working at a travel company in Rotherham.
Recorder Gavin Doig sentenced Morris to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered him to repay £339 within the next six months.
Mr Doig said: “This was a serious offence — you caused considerable distress to the victim.
“He had to change his lifestyle and he had to have a CCTV camera fitted.”