Sudbury: Man jailed for fifth breach of restraining order

Neil Searle, who was jailed for breaching his restraining order

Neil Searle, who was jailed for breaching his restraining order

A 48-year-old man who breached his restraining order by contacting his ex-partner five times in three months has been jailed.

Neil Searle, of Slade Close, Sudbury, was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment by Ipswich Crown Court after continuing to contact Paula Finch.

Searle had admitted two counts of acting in breach of a restraining order, and assaulting a boy.

He denied a third charge of acting in breach of a restraining order on August 1. This was not proceeded with, but will lay on the court file.

Prosecutor Peter Gair said Bury St Edmunds magistrates had imposed the order, which was to run for one year, on May 13.

Searle was forbidden to contact his former partner or to go to her home in Forth Avenue, Glemsford.

The court was told the couple had been in a relationship for around 18 months until it broke down in December last year.

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Mr Gair said Searle then harassed Ms Finch, leading to the order being imposed.

Searle breached the restraining order the same day it was made and then again the following day.

He was given a 19-week suspended prison sentence on May 16 for those two offences.

However, Searle then breached it again on May 19 leading to him being jailed when the suspended sentence was implemented.

The court was told Searle was released from prison on July 22. The following day he sent a text to Ms Finch in which he said: “Hello mate. I is (sic) out. Please ring me. Love you Neil.”

Searle breached the restraining order again on August 5 when he went to her home.

Searle also admitted assaulting a boy on the same day by grabbing him around the throat.

Rebecca Wastall, representing Searle, said he had taken the break-up of his relationship “very hard” and originally thought he could rekindle it.

Mrs Wastall added: “Finally he has come to the realisation that he can not breach his restraining order again and he wants to move away.”

Judge Rupert Overbury said Searle did not start offending until September 2010, but since then had amassed a record of six convictions for eight offences.

Judge Overbury told him: “It’s clear to me you have absolutely no regard whatsoever to the protective order made by the court. I accept the mitigation on your behalf that you are ashamed and sorry for what you have done.”

As part of the sentencing a two-year restraining order was imposed.