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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Carlisle man jailed for throwing brick through window

A man from Carlisle has been sent to prison for a year for hurling a brick through a window at his ex wife’s house just hours after appearing in court for making threatening phone calls to her.

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Judge Batty: ‘We shudder to think what would have occurred’

It was the latest episode in the stormy relationship between Robert and Helen Norris, whose 18-year marriage came to an end 18 months ago.

Norris, 42, was jailed for 126 days last July and put under a restraining order to prevent him having any contact with his ex wife after he injured her by throwing an ash tray at her through the window of her car.

But, Carlisle Crown Court heard yesterday, he has repeatedly broken that order since then by making unwelcome phone calls and sending her text messages – some of them on the very day that he was released from the prison sentence.

In one of the calls, made just hours after magistrates had sentenced him to a community order for flouting the order not to contact her, he told her that if she called the police her would “get to her” before they did.

“Turn around, I am right behind you,” he told her.

Two days later, after a friend told him she had started a relationship with another man, he threw the brick through her window, while she was at home with her teenaged son and one of his friends.

Since then, the court heard, Mrs Norris has been so frightened she has had to have CCTV cameras fitted to her home.

“She says she is extremely frightened and can’t sleep at all unless she knows he is in prison,” prosecutor Becky McGregor told the court.

Norris, of Green Lane, Belle Vue, Carlisle, pleaded guilty to a charge of causing criminal damage to the window and to breaching the restraining order.

In mitigation defence barrister Kim Whittlestone said Norris had never come to terms with the death of one of his sons, or with the break-up of his marriage.

“For many years now his life has been entrenched in alcohol and he has been using alcohol – alongside a significant amount of medication for depression – as an escape.”

Ms Whittlestone said Norris realised he was now “at rock bottom” and wanted to do something about it.

Passing sentence, Judge Paul Batty QC said he considered the case “profoundly depressing and serious”.

“The affect on your wife has been profound,” he told him.

“She has suffered serious psychological harm and feels so thoroughly traumatised she does not feel safe in her own home.”

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