A LOVELORN 64-year-old man left his estranged wife feeling ‘uneasy’ and ‘threatened’ after twice breaching his restraining order.
Richard Alan Martin, of Lynden Lea, Widdrington, harassed Marilyn Martin by calling her from a withheld number and sending correspondence to a mutual friend intended for his victim, which included a postcard to remind her of the ‘good times’.
Described as a ‘very sad and lonely man’ who had struggled to accept the breakdown of his long-running marriage, his actions violated the two-year condition imposed on him in July 2011 following three assaults on his wife.
Martin, who was also given a 10-week prison sentence suspended for two years for the attacks, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching a restraining order on conviction.
And on Monday, appearing at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court for sentencing, he was given both a community and supervision order, each for 24 months, and was told he must complete a community domestic violence programme to make the suspended sentence ‘more onerous’.
The first breach – the phone call – happened between July and August last year while the second offence, relating to the correspondence, occurred between October 2011 to January 2012.
Alan Turner, prosecuting, read out a statement on behalf of the victim, which said: “I now feel uneasy and threatened. I think he believes we can get back together. I have done nothing to encourage him. I want nothing at all to do with him.”
The court heard that the couple retired and bought a house in north Northumberland but the property needed a lot of work done to it, which put ‘strain’ on their 42-year marriage and their relationship deteriorated.
His wife is now living in Durham and Martin only has contact with one of three adult children.
David Auld, defending, said that his client was ‘really upset and worried’ about his court appearance and had given an assurance that there would be ‘absolutely no contact’ from now on, accepting that the marriage was ‘at an end’.
He said that Martin had phoned his wife but ‘didn’t have the courage to talk to her’ and put the phone down.
Of the correspondence, Mr Auld told the court that Martin had sent one letter to tell his wife that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, as well as a Christmas card and the postcard.
Mr Auld added: “There was nothing threatening or unpleasant and there was no direct contact. It was only good words that he was putting to her. Unfortunately she didn’t want contact with him and reported the matter to the police. I don’t think my client realised that what he was doing would put him in court.”
Martin was also ordered to pay £85 court costs.