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Call for harassment register after man jailed for campaign of distress

PUBLISHED: 06:24 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 06:24 16 February 2018

Min Grob speaking at the Coercive Control conference at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Min Grob speaking at the Coercive Control conference at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Archant

Calls are being made for a register of stalking and harassment offenders after an Ipswich man was jailed for breaching an order banning him from contacting his former partner.

Hayden Parker was locked up for nine months after breaking a restraining order by ‘bombarding’ his ex with hundreds of telephone calls and text messages.

Between June and August last year, Packer made 1,500 calls to Joanne O’Brien and sent her up to 38 texts in a single day.

Packer, 29, of Wellington Court, admitted harassment and breaching an order banning contact for two offences of battery.

Following sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court, Min Grob, founder of Conference on Coercive Control and domestic abuse awareness campaigner, backed calls for a serial perpetrator order like the framework for sex offenders.

Ms Grob, a survivor of domestic abuse, said: “I don’t think nine months is enough punishment.

“The victim must have been terrified. It’s like a constant feeling of being on a roller coaster, with your stomach in your mouth.

“You develop a level of hyper-vigilance – always looking over your shoulder.

“If it begins within the relationship, it doesn’t stop when the relationship breaks down.

“It’s about power and control. In this case, like many, the perpetrator lost control by being subject to a restraining order and became desperate.

“Most like to operate below the radar. More often than not, knowing what someone is capable of serves as a threat.”

Ms Grob said she supported the idea of specialist police units for harassment and stalking.

She also backed the wider use of ‘Clare’s Law’, which gives people the right to ask police if their partner may pose a risk, and said she supported a petition by national advocacy service Paladin for an offenders’ register.

Miss O’Brien contacted police after Packer made repeated attempts to contact her by text messages and calls.

Prosecutor Michael Crimp said he was made subject to a three-year order in November 2016.

Roger Thomson, for Packer, said the offences arose from a long-term relationship.

Jailing Packer for nine months, Recorder John Brooke-Smith said: “The sheer number of calls was extraordinary. Your victim was bombarded with texts and calls all of which have caused her considerable distress.”

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