A SOUTH Warwickshire man is counting the cost of believing his ex-partner when she told him a restraining order banning him from seeing her had been lifted.
Michael Hardy was arrested after assaulting her while staying at her home in breach of the order – which Warwick Crown Court heard was still in force.
The 33-year-old, of Victoria Road, Bidford, was jailed for a total of 15 months after pleading guilty to breaching the order and common assault.
Prosecutor Danae Larham said in April this year Hardy’s ex-partner, a Miss Statham, obtained a restraining order banning him from contacting her for two years.
On June 12 Hardy, whose previous convictions included offences of violence, was found sleeping at her address, and accepted that was in breach of the order.
But Miss Larham pointed out: “It is accepted that she had assured the defendant that it had been removed, and she had sent him texts confirming the same.”
The police had been called because an argument had arisen between them which led to Hardy grabbing Miss Statham by her wrist and twisting it, which has caused her ongoing problems.
He also pulled her hair and grabbed her by her face before she left her home, where he had been staying for several weeks, and went to her sister’s address.
Then on June 22 Hardy, who had suspected the order was still in place, phoned her from a number she could not identify.
When she answered, she recognised his voice as he asked her if she was OK and told her he had not said anything to the police and that everything would be OK if she did not go to court.
In a statement read in court, Miss Statham said: “We were going to try to sort out our relationship. Things were good for a week, but then we started arguing.”
She added she still could not move her hand and wrist properly and suffered pain if she put weight on it.
Katie Fox, defending, said: “He finds himself frustrated by his own behaviour. Things were set up well for him when he was released from prison, and he had hoped he had put his offending behind him.
“He had put efforts into finding employment and accommodation. The difficulty was that that employment was near her home.
“She contacted him and told him the order had been revoked, but he recognises the onus was on him to check. She had invited him back into her life.”
Sentencing Hardy, Recorder Shamim Qureshi observed the breach was in relation to his fourth restraining order in respect of different women.
He told Hardy: “The courts have experience of men of your age finding themselves unable to comply with court orders and then blaming the female for having some sort of beguiling hold over them.”
And Recorder Qureshi warned him to bear in mind in the future that a court would not lift a restraining order without him being present.