Jarrow man sent 29 messages and made 34 calls in four days during campaign of harassment

A menace bombarded his ex with unwanted calls and texts while on a suspended prison sentence for attacking her.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 2:56 pm
Updated Monday, 1st March 2021, 3:00 pm

Andrew Purcell kept his freedom after he grabbed his victim by the throat and started to strangle her, smashed a window at her home, hit her on the back of the head and told her mum she was "on the game" in November 2019.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the suspended jail term was imposed last February and their relationship continued until mid June when the 43-year-old started a campaign of phone communication to try and win her back.

Prosecutor Joe Hedworth told the court: "He began to send numerous unwanted text messages in which he said he loved her and wanted to reconcile."

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The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.
The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mr Hedworth said the constant contact went on during "all hours" of the day and night.

He added: "He didn't threaten her, he just said he loved her and wanted to talk.

"On a number of occasions he walked past her home address.

"Between August 2 and August 6 he sent her 29 messages and called her 34 times.

"On August 7 she blocked his number and so his messages were diverted into a spam folder. She later saw that between August 11 and August 13 she had received 16 messages."

The court heard the victim involved the police after a four page letter was posted through her door in the early hours of August 15.

In a victim statement made just after the offence, the woman said: "He won't leave me alone. He has, in the past, convinced me to reconcile the relationship and I don't want this to happen again.

"I want the relationship to be over.

"I want to feel comfortable and not worry that he is hanging around. "

Purcell, of Beech Street, Jarrow, admitted harassment.

Judge Robert Adams sentenced him to six weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with a three year restraining order.

The judge told him: "You couldn't accept it was over and there was frequent contact, unwanted by her, she having made it clear to you the relationship was over."

Judge Adams added: "You made it clear you loved her and wanted to talk to her, she didn't want to talk to you."

The judge told Purcell he could have "one more chance" as he is capable of rehabilitated but warned him; "The relationship is over. You are not to contact her again."

Glenn Gatland, defending, said Purcell had suffered a number of family bereavements and was drinking excessively to cope.

Mr Gatland said the messages were never threatening and added: "He really did think he loved this woman. He was besotted by her. He went around it the wrong way."

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