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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Four police officers needed to control Cumbria baseball bat man

A man who defied a court order to give his ex-girlfriend a necklace turned so violent when she rejected it that it took four police officers and two doses of Parva spray to control him.

Ian O’Fee’s 17-year violent relationship with Lynsey McAleney had ended by the time he tried to give her the necklace in July.

She was too scared to accept it when he turned up outside the house in Whitehaven where she was visiting a friend.

And – because just by being there he was breaking the terms of a non molestation order imposed in September 2012 to prevent him bothering her – she called the police, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

When the police arrived to talk to him at his mother’s house, O’Fee, wielding a silver metal baseball bat, barricaded himself in a bedroom.

A trained negotiator was called to try to get him to come out willingly, prosecutor Becky McGregor said, but when he refused to do the police decided to force entry.

O’Fee, 38, tried to stop them, brandishing the baseball bat above his head and kicking out at the officers as they approached and hitting one on the hand.

“He was exceptionally violent and aggressive,” Ms McGregor said.

The police used one Parva incapacitant spray, but it failed to subdue him, the court heard. So they used another before four officers managed to restrain him and arrest him.

Ms McGregor said the incident was the latest in the couple’s turbulent relationship, in which O’Fee had assaulted Ms McAleney several times.

“It was a very violent and abusive relationship, and they both got involved with drink and drugs,” she said. “Ms McAleney eventually recognised that they should not be together because of all the domestic violence, drink, drugs and arguing.”

Ms McGregor said that Ms McAleney accepted that, despite the court order intended to keep O’Fee away from her, she had not always “fully abided” with it and had sometimes encouraged O’Fee to contact her.

O’Fee, of Wasdale Road, Whitehaven, was said to have 65 previous convictions including 10 for offences of violence, one of which came after he slashed a man’s throat with a Stanley knife.

He pleaded guilty to charges of affray and breaking the non molestation order – the fourth time he had done that this year.

His barrister Kim Whittlestone told the court: “He finds it very very difficult not to be in contact with her, particularly because she has sometimes sought him out.”

Judge Paul Batty QC jailed O’Fee for a total of two years, saying it was clear he had been “completely out of control and ready to take on the world”.

He also imposed a restraining order banning him from having any contact with her, or going within 100 metres of her home, until the end of 2018.

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