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Jail for man who attacked partner and threatened to burn friend's farm

Michael Stimson
Michael Stimson

A FISHERMAN who repeatedly attacked his partner and threatened to burn down a former friend's farm has been jailed for 21 months.

Michael Stimson (36), of Ladycross Road, Hythe, targeted Shannon Simmonds multiple times in July and August, Southampton Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Alec Williams told the court how Stimson assaulted her on 26th July after returning home from a local pub. He pulled her from her bed and punched her on the legs, which caused bruising.

There were two other occasions when he used violence against her.

He also punched her car windscreen, shattering it and leaving her with a repair bill of almost £200, and he snapped her mobile phone during an argument.

After the relationship came to an end Stimson harassed Ms Simmonds, Mr Williams said. On one day alone he called her 83 times before 1pm and when she finally answered he made threats to assault her friends and parents, and burn down her house.

Stimson admitted three counts of assault, one of harassment and two of criminal damage.

Mr Williams told the court that Stimson had also admitted one count of sending a grossly offensive message and one of sending a threatening message to former friend Steven Turner.

Mr Williams said Stimson had carried out work on a boat owned by Mr Turner, which was subsequently sold. It was at this point Stimson began requesting money for the work he had done and repeatedly called Mr Turner.

The calls became more threatening, and Stimson threatened to assault him. He also contacted Mr Turner’s wife on 27th July and threatened to burn down the family's farm.

The court heard how Stimson was already subject to a 12-month suspended sentence, which had been imposed by Newport Crown Court in April this year for charges of actual bodily harm, criminal damage and possession of cannabis.

In a victim impact statement, which was read to the court by Mr Williams, Ms Simmonds said she had been “a strong, independent woman” before meeting him but was left fearing he would kill her.

She said: “I tried to leave so many times, but it always ended in him hurting me. I’m still scared because he threatened to destroy my home. I do not feel safe in my home [and] I have nightmares about him. What has happened has changed me as a person. What he has done will stay with me for the rest of my life. I feel broken.”

The court also heard an impact statement from Mr Turner, who had been left “stressed and worried” about what Stimson would do next.

The statement said: “My family and I have suffered because of Stimson and his attitude towards us. My wife is ill due to the constant worry and is terrified he will go to our house and hurt her. Due to my wife being so scared, I have had to reduce my working hours as I cannot leave her alone.”

The court heard that Stimson had previous convictions for attacking former partners in 2008 and 2014. He also assaulted his parents in 2017.

Defending, Aleksander Lloyd said Stimson was “an individual who has got a troubled past and a troubled relationship with alcohol”.

He said: “He is remorseful for his actions, he is genuinely sorry for his behaviour.”

Jailing Stimson, Judge Nicholas Rowland said: “You've previously used violence towards partners [and] you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

“You pursued a campaign of malice against the Turners, culminating in threatening to burn down their farm. These are serious matters. It seems to me you have a very real problem with alcohol and relationships.”

The judge also imposed restraining orders preventing Stimson from contacting Ms Simmonds and the Turners for five years.

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