South Shields teenager jailed after sending Facebook friend request to his ex

A teen who sent a Facebook friend request to his ex while banned from having any contact with her has been jailed for two years.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 2:20 pm
Updated Friday, 7th February 2020, 5:24 pm

Aaron McLaughlin was given a restraining order on November 22 which meant any form of contact with the woman was forbidden.

But Newcastle Crown Court heard just seven days later the 19-year-old sent her a friend request on the social media site and was reported to the police.

A victim statement, read by prosecutor Neil Palliister, said: "The incident has left me feeling on edge.

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Aaron McLaughlin.

"Aaron is so unpredictable.

"This has left me feeling like I don't want to leave my house.

"I thought the court case was going to be the end of this.

"It is not fair that I feel like this when I've done nothing wrong. I just want to get on with my life but Aaron won't let me."

The court heard a month later, the victim was reported missing from her home and police inquiries revealed she had been at a Travelodge in Newcastle withMcLaughlin.

McLaughlin, of Julian Avenue, South Shields, pleaded guilty to two offences of breach of the restraining order, which he was given at the same time as atwo-year suspended prison sentence.

When the case was at court for sentence last month the woman no longer wanted McLaughlin to be banned from contacting her.

But the court heard she now wishes the ban to remain in place and is in a relationship with McLaughlin's brother.

Barry Robson, defending, said McLaughlin accepted he would receive a prison sentence as a result of his behaviour and added: "It is a long prison sentence for someone who has only ever been involved in the prison system because of this woman."

Mr Robson said McLaughlin had "hope of reconciliation" but now realises the relationship is over.

Judge Stephen Earl activated the two year suspended jail sentence and imposed a concurrent four months for the breach offences.

He told McLaughlin: "Attempting to join her on Facebook is not the most heinous crime but it is part of a symptom of disregard of the order.”