South Shields man breached a restraining order by sending a birthday message to a former partner

Sending a birthday message to an ex-partner landed a South Tyneside man before the courts.

By Sue Kirby
Monday, 23rd September 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 23rd September 2019, 7:05 am
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Carl Kenneth McBride, 38, of South Shields sent a birthday email to an ex-partner which was in breach of a restraining order.

McBride, who lives in the town’s Australia Grove, denied the charge of breaching the order, but magistrates found him guilty of the offence of sending the email.

The prosecution alleged McBride had also sent a friend request via Facebook the woman and liked one of her photographs, however, magistrates said this was not proved.

McBride acknowledged that the email, wishing her a happy birthday had come from his phone, but he hadn’t sent it on purpose, saying it was an old message.

He told Sunderland Magistrates’ Court: “I tried to delete the message, but I must have stored it.

“I didn’t deliberately send anything. I don’t know how it was sent.”

McBride said on the day the message was sent in July this year he had reset his phone.

Anthony Pettengell, prosecuting, said: “It is a set of significant coincidences if it wasn’t him.

“It only makes sense that he sent it himself.”

Paul McAlindon, defending, said of the Facebook allegations: “That’s not him. As far as he was aware he has blocked her and she said she has blocked him.

“The email, it has been sent and he accepts that, but what he says is he never sent that deliberately. It was a pre-typed email that has somehow sent. He has reset his phone and things started to reload and notifications were coming up.

“If there’s a doubt that that was sent deliberately, then the benefit of the doubt should go to Mr McBride and he should be acquitted.”

However, magistrates decided the breach of the restraining order had been proved in the case of sending the email.

The case was adjourned until October 7, 10am, at South Tyneside Magsitrates’ Court for a pre-sentence report.

McBride was given bail with the conditions not to directly or indirectly contact the woman and not to enter Sunderland unless for an appointment with solicitors.