Louth businessman faces prison if harassment continues

Court news
Court news

Louth businessman John Stuart McLeod, who has twice breached a restraining order, has been warned he faces prison if he doesn’t stop contacting his former partner.

McLeod, 67, of Bridge Street, who runs a delicatessen in the town, appeared in custody before Deputy District Judge Price at Skegness Magistrates Court, and admitted breaching the restraining order between May 14 and June 2.

The court heard that the order was put in place in September 2013 after he was convicted of harassing his former partner Sarah Maloney.

Paul Wood, prosecuting, said that McLeod left a voice message on her phone on May 14 telling her that his former sister-in-law had died, but she had never met her and there was no reason for him to tell her, which had upset her and made her feel uncomfortable.

However, she did not tell the police because she thought he may have genuinely believed she would want to know.

Then at 12.30am on June 2, when she was in bed, Ms Maloney heard a thud by the front door and saw that an A5 envelope had been posted through the letterbox.

She did not go downstairs until dawn when she found that it was from McLeod and included some greeting cards, chocolates which bore the letters ‘LOVE’ and a note saying ‘New cards. My lady. Call the police.’

Mr Wood said Ms Maloney was devastated and told the police that McLeod just would not leave her alone.

Mitigating, Terry Boston said McLeod was lonely and had a significant alcohol problem.

He told the judge that McLeod had been given a community order on May 6 but had no memory of it, although he had attended one alcohol abuse meeting.

He said McLeod had been in a relationship with Ms Maloney for almost 20 years and had thought she would want to know about the death of his former sister-in-law. He added that McLeod was sorry he had caused her distress.

Mark Davies, for the Probation Service, said that there were obvious issues with alcohol which was being addressed but said there was ‘a long way to go’.

Judge Price warned McLeod that he was building a series of disobedience to court orders and that if he breached the order again he could expect to serve a period of imprisonment.

She imposed an eight week electronically monitored curfew between 8pm and 8am, and also ordered him to pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 in costs.