Grantham court: Man’s barrage of texts to former girlfriend

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A woman was bombarded with texts and phone calls after she split with her boyfriend.

Alastair Brunton, 33, of Albion Place, Grantham, admitted harassment without violence against his former girlfriend between June 24 and August 31.

Prosecuting, Marie Stace told the court that Brunton and his girlfriend split in March but sought relationship counselling which failed.

She went to the police after receiving 1,400 text messages from him in May and June.

Miss Stace said Brunton became abusive and her solicitors told him to stop making contact with her.

A police information notice was issued on June 26 but Brunton failed to sign it and continued to contact her.

On June 30 Brunton sent a text saying he still wanted her to be part of his life, but she told him to leave her alone.

Miss Stace said Brunton also made contact with her family and friends between July 1 and August 31.

On August 10 the former girlfriend received a call from Brunton which lasted three hours and 22 minutes.

He said he was apologetic for his behaviour and wanted to make things right.

The former girlfriend also received a call from Brunton as she was giving a statement to police. Miss Stace described Brunton’s calls and text as “an absessive pattern of behaviour”.

She said Brunton had said he had not been threatening or violent and had only wanted to salvage the relationship.

The court was told that police siezed six mobile phones from Brunton.

Defending, Rory Macmillan said Brunton had some mental health issues as a result of recent events, he had been feeling low and was on anti-depressants.

He had referred himself for counselling and had lost his job as a result of the court case.

Mr Macmillan said Brunton wanted to move away from Grantham and put all that had happened behind him.

He said: “He wants to apologise for any alarm or distress caused. It’s not necessarily all one sided.”

The court was told Brunton’s girlfriend had thought he had cheated on her, but he hadn’t and as a result they had signed up for three sessions with a counsellor.

She then changed the locks at her house where Brunton’s belongings remained.

Mr Macmillan said the calls and texts were partly about his feelings but also about his property which he wanted back.

His girlfriend had taken part in the long phone calls and it had been a distressing time for them both.

Mr Macmillan added: “He felt he was receiving mixed signals about just what her intentions were with regard to their relationship bearing in mind they had even set a wedding date for September 6.

“Since it was clear the relationship was over he has tried to get his property back but he has been told this is a civil matter.”

Mr Macmillan said Brunton had no intention of going anywhere near his former girlfriend again.

The magistrates imposed a restraining order on Brunton to stop him from contacting his ex-girlfriend in any way.

He was also handed a six-week prison sentence suspended for two years and a supervision order for two years which includes attendance at a Building Better Relationships course. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80 and costs of £85.