Chesterfield man gets restraining order after harassing ex

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A distressed man who had separated from his partner after a long-term relationship has been banned from seeing her after he harassed her outside her home.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, January 7, how Richard Clarke, 41, of Fairfield Road, Chesterfield, parked outside his former partner’s home revved his engine, flashed his lights and shouted.

Prosecuting solicitor Mike Law said: “The defendant and the complainant were in a relationship for 14 years and that ended in June last year and there is a son as a result of that relationship.

“At that time police issued Clarke with a warning notice not to contact the complainant but there was further contact and that led to him receiving a caution in July last year for harassment.”

But Mr Law explained that Mr Clarke committed a further offence in December by arriving outside his former partner’s home revving his car engine and shining his headlights and shouting.

Clarke pleaded guilty to causing harassment.

Defence solicitor Liz Anderton said: “Mr Clarke is a man with no previous convictions other than the caution he received for sending texts.

“This all arises out of the breakdown of a lengthy relationship with a child involved.

“Following the breakdown, it seemed the complainant wanted no contact with Richard Clarke and that created problems for contact with his son and for getting property back from the home they had shared together and it created difficulties over the last few months.

“As a result of the breakdown, Mr Clarke took an overdose resulting in an admission to hospital and there has been little contact with his son and they were extremely close.

“The day before the incident in December, Mr Clarke also lost his job because of the police involvement over these issues and for the caution.

“He was finding himself being taken out of work to attend the police station so his employers let him go and he’s been out of work since the beginning of December.

“This was the final straw and he took the stupid decision to go round the home address where he stayed outside with the engine on and used his lights and caused harassment but no threats were made.”

Ms Anderton added that Clarke has been struggling with mental health issues.

Magistrates sympathised with Clarke’s difficulties but warned he could be imprisoned if he continues with similar behaviour.

They fined him £110 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. He was also given a two-year restraining order not to contact his partner except to arrange child access through a third party.