Friday, 27 November 2015

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Jilted boyfriend had knife outside former partner's house

A jilted boyfriend left his former partner a nervous wreck after turning up outside her house with a knife when she rebuffed his advances.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that it was the woman’s eight-year-old daughter who first spotted the four-inch knife in Gareth Lancaster’s hand.

Lancaster, who has a previous conviction for breaking a woman’s jaw, was jailed for eight months after Judge Paul Batty QC said anyone caught carrying a knife in public will get a fitting punishment.

At an earlier hearing before magistrates, Lancaster, 32, admitted possessing a bladed article in a public place.

Prosecutor Gerard Rogerson described how the defendant had known the woman involved in the latest incident since she was 17. They were briefly in a relationship during 2011. He believed they had been “best mates”.

“It broke up because, in her words, he kept kicking off,” said Mr Rogerson, who said that in September 2012 he bombarded the woman with 250 text and voicemail messages. She began speaking to him last year but his behaviour caused her concern, he said.

Last April, after she accidentally sent him a party invitation, Lancaster, of Brunton Avenue, off Warwick Road, Carlisle, again began bombarding her with text messages asking if he could visit her at her address in Greystone Road, Carlisle. She repeatedly said no.

“He kept insisting on going round and she described this as controlling behaviour. She didn’t want him at the address,” said the lawyer.

On April 26, the woman was at home expecting a pizza delivery when there was a knock on the door and she opened it to find Lancaster.

Mr Rogerson said: “He pushed open the front door with some force, so that it trapped [the woman] between the door and the wall.”

She eventually persuaded him to leave, saying she had nothing to say to him.

Ten minutes later, the woman’s eight-year-old daughter spotted Lancaster walking up the street, with something in his hand.

“[The woman] opened the front door and noticed he was sitting on the front wall holding a knife. The blade was in an upward position and he was saying he would slash her [car] tyres, and if she shut the door he was going to kill himself.”

The police were called and officers were able to disarm Lancaster, who appeared to have been drinking, without further incident.

After what happened, said Mr Rogerson, the woman was a nervous wreck. She said she wanted nothing further to do with the defendant.

John Smith, for Lancaster, said the defendant and the woman had the previous day enjoyed a day in Blackpool together and her rejection of him had upset him.

Judge Batty said the defendant had a bad criminal record, which included inflicting grievous bodily harm on a previous partner when he had broken the woman’s jaw.

The jail term he was given appeared not to have deterred Lancaster from offending.

Referring to the current case, the judge said: “You have been in a previous relationship with her and she wanted the relationship to end. It is perfectly plain you were not prepared to accept that fact.

“You pushed the door open and she was trapped behind it. It must have been a terrifying experience for her and her daughter.”


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