A FORMER Suffolk jockey has been jailed for 12 months after admitting his fifth breach of a court order banning him from contacting his girlfriend.

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Alcoholic Harold Ballantine, 59, formerly of Ipswich and Colchester, was made the subject of a restraining order banning him from contacting Debbie Green in November last year, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Since then he repeatedly breached the order by contacting Miss Green and had been brought back before the court on a number of occasions, Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said.

In May he was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was warned by a judge to cut down his drinking and to stop breaching the court order.

However, Ballantine breached the order again on October 16 by going to see Miss Green at her stepfather’s address in Woodbridge Road, Rushmere St Andrew.

Miss Green had been asleep and was woken by Ballantine, who was abusive to her. He had refused to leave the premises and Miss Green had called the police, said Mr Crimp.

Ballantine admitted breaching the restraining order and breaching the suspended sentence and was jailed for a total of 12 months.

Sentencing him, Judge John Devaux said Miss Green appeared to “blow hot and cold” and called the police when Ballantine contacted her and then asked the court not to send him to prison.

Neil Saunders, for Ballantine, said Miss Green was in the process of trying to get the restraining order lifted. He said the repeated breaches of the order represented a huge cost to the public.

Miss Green told the court that Ballantine didn’t cause her any problems when he was sober.

She said that when he was working he was fine but he had felt hopeless since he began suffering from angina two years ago.

“If he goes to prison he will come out and will drink again. He needs help to deal with his alcohol issues,” she said.

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