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Matthew Rawcliffe's calls to ex-partner nearly led to prison sentence
A YOUNG man’s repeated midnight telephone calls to his former partner nearly landed him in jail, York magistrates said.
Matthew James Rawcliffe three times defied court orders not to bother the woman, with whom he had had a relationship for four-and-a-half years.
Police gave Rawcliffe a harassment warning on July 25.
But he continued sending her text messages and making phone calls, so magistrates made a restraining order on August 20 banning him from contacting the woman.
They also jailed him for two weeks.
However, on December 14 he phoned her and was later fined for breaching the restraining order.
Martin Butterworth, prosecuting, said on January 17 Rawcliffe phoned the woman five times within a ten-minute period shortly after midnight.
He told her he knew he should not contact her but added: “I just wanted to talk normally.”
Magistrates told Rawcliffe they seriously considered locking him up because it was his second breach, but because he had started to tackle the issues that led him to break the order they were prepared to let him keep his liberty.
Instead they ordered him to do 12 months’ supervision, undertake at least one rehabilitation course and do 200 hours’ unpaid work.
Rawcliffe, 27, of the Arc Light Centre, Union Street, York, pleaded guilty to breaking a restraining order.
Mr Butterworth said initially the woman had tried to ignore the calls, but answered the fifth one because she did not want him ringing for the rest of the night.
Rawcliffe’s solicitor, Sally Howard, said of the offence: “There is no risk of harm to the victim. It is annoying and she thinks he is getting away with it.”
Rawcliffe, who had difficulties in his private life, had had too much to drink and had been depressed, the court heard. But he was now taking steps to sort his difficulties out.