An alcoholic gambler who made his own mother’s life a misery has been jailed for breaching a ban on pestering her.for money.
A judge heard today (Thursday) that it was the third time that 26-year-old Paul Lonergan had ignored the terms of a restraining order which his mother was forced to take out against him in December 2012.
Prosecutor David Lampitt told Bradford Crown Court that over the years Lonergan’s behaviour had become unpredictable and his mother Katherine Sinclair had submitted to his repeated requests for money.
Judge Peter Benson was told that Lonergan had already served two previous prison sentences for breaching the protective order which bans him from contacting his mother directly or indirectly and prohibits him from going within 100 metres of her Sowerby Bridge home or her place of work.
The court heard that last month Lonergan, who was only released from a 12-month prison sentence in March, rang his mother asking for his birth certificate and passport because he was planning to go to Spain.
Mr Lampitt said Lonergan, of no fixed abode, initially asked for £25 but during the conversation that escalated to £75.
He said the defendant sounded like he was sober and his mother decided to leave the money outside the house for her son to collect.
The next day the money had gone, but when the complainant returned from a holiday she found a note from her son making another request for money.
The police were alerted and Lonergan admitted breaching the order when he made his first appearance before the Calderdale magistrates last month.
Judge Benson was told by Lonergan’s lawyer Marie Harbin that he felt he would benefit from being sent to prison.
Ms Harbin said although her client no longer gambled, his alcohol misuse was still a significant issue.
She indicated that Lonergan had made a serious attempt on his own life, but Judge Benson described that as another part of his plan to use “moral blackmail” to extract money from his loving mother.
“The money you extracted from her you used to get yourself drunk,” the judge told Lonergan.
“You made her life a misery, it seems to me, and it is implicit in her statement that she suffers quite severe psychological harm as a result of you pestering her.”
Jailing the defendant for 16 months Judge Benson said a son owed his mother a debt of gratitude and Lonergan should be thoroughly ashamed of the way he had treated the complainant.