Man admits harassing his ex

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A 43-year-old man who subjected his former partner to a campaign of harassment has been given a 12-month community order.

Martin Sheard’s barrister James Keeley said his client had been “devastated” by the break-up of his relationship with Elizabeth Copley and wanted to apologise for his behaviour earlier this year.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Sheard, who had no previous convictions, bombarded Miss Copley with text messages, voicemails and unwanted visits.

Prosecutor Nigel Hamilton said Sheard told work colleagues he wanted his partner back and if she did take him back the harassment would end.

Mr Hamilton said on one day in April Miss Copley turned her mobile phone back on to find she had 30 missed calls, numerous text messages and 16 voicemails from Sheard.

“He was trying to find out where she was and who she was with,” said Mr Hamilton.

Mr Hamilton referred Judge John Potter to a detailed victim impact statement from Miss Copley in which she outlined the “immense suffering” caused by the harassment.

Sheard, of Ovenden Wood Road, Halifax, was said to have an exemplary work record, but he now faced a disciplinary hearing as a result of his conviction.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the harassment charge and Judge Potter also imposed a two-year restraining order which bans him from having contact with the complainant or going within 100 metres of her home.

Mr Keeley said Sheard was now in a new relationship and wanted to put this part of his life behind him.

“He has lost his good name and that is a great shame for somebody like him,” submitted Mr Keeley.

Judge Potter said Sheard had clearly done a lot of good in his life, but he had reacted very badly to the end of the relationship and his offending had been “inspired by jealousy”.

The judge said there was no reason or excuse for Sheard bombarding his former partner with texts and calls in the way he did.

Under the community order Sheard will have to comply with a 30-day medium activity requirement as directed by the probation service.