A RINGWOOD man has been jailed for seven months after he flouted a ban on contacting his ex-lover and sent her “unpleasant messages”.
Adam Bruce (28) was sent down at Southampton Crown Court by Judge Gary Burrell, who said he had “broken the trust” the court system had placed in him.
Bruce had been given a restraining order and banned from contacting the woman – who the A&T has decided not to name – in January this year.
That was after he admitted sharing intimate images of her online and sending them to her husband. He also sent her abusive and racist messages because she had ended their affair.
As reported in the A&T, the previous court hearing was told the woman was in an open marriage but her and Bruce’s affair broke down following an “embarrassing” incident in a Bournemouth nightclub. She had also terminated a baby, which upset Bruce, who did not know if he was the father.
But Bruce, prosecutor Leigh Hart said, flouted the ban on contacting the woman when he sent her messages between 18th and 23rd May this year.
“The messages stated the defendant was still in love with her and that he blamed her for his situation,” Ms Hart said.
“In one message he claimed she had destroyed the happy, bubbly person he was. She did not respond to the messages but said they had caused her a significant amount of anxiety and stress.”
Defending Bruce, who admitted a charge of breaching his suspended sentence, Berenice Mulvanny pointed out probation had recommended Bruce’s sentence be deferred for three months.
When Judge Burrell indicated he was thinking differently, she said her client should not go to prison immediately as he was too “immature”.
He had sent three text messages, she argued, one of which was a “declaration of love”, and she pointed out it was not a “contact breach” and he had not gone to her place of work.
She said he had been “chastened” by spending the past two months on remand in Lewes prison – his first experience behind bars and at a time when conditions were awful with 23-hour Covid-19 lockdowns, she said.
She said that following media reports of the case the victim had been identified by some people and the reports had “aggravated” the situation.
But Judge Burrell said that “what he did was reported, which is perfectly understandable”. When the defence barrister argued further, the judge added: “They [the press] are simply doing their job, Mrs Mulvanny.”
Judge Burrell went on to say that “within a very short time he has broken the trust the court put in him”.
He said he could not suspend or defer the sentence since it was outlined to Bruce what would happen if he breached the order and the effect his offending had had on the victim.
“You still seem to lack insight into your behaviour, which is of concern,” Judge Burrell continued.
“You certainly at the time appeared to have limited understanding of what you were doing, but I’m afraid what you were doing is quite serious because it was a breach of the order of the court – a breach of a chance given to you and has had a profound effect on this girl.”