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Ipswich man who breached restraining order against ex-wife within a week given suspended jail term

PUBLISHED: 17:38 15 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:38 15 September 2017

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Archant

An Ipswich man who breached a court order banning him from contacting his wife within a week of it being made has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Russell Clarke was banned from contacting his wife Georgina for three years by a judge at Ipswich Crown Court on June 30 after he admitted harassing her following the breakdown of their marriage.

On that occasion the court heard that Clarke had sent his wife more than 100 text messages in May which left her feeling “scared, vulnerable and intimidated”.

Some of the texts gave details of where she had been shopping and at what time and made it look as though he was stalking her.

Joanne Eley said that within four days of the court appearance Clarke sent his wife a message wishing her a happy birthday and telling her he was “going to die soon”.

Clarke had also called and sent messages to other family members in breach of a restraining order.

Clarke, 52, formerly of Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, admitted four offences of acting in breach of a restraining order between July 4 and July 10.

He was given a four-month prison sentence suspended for two years, 80 hours’ unpaid work and a ten-day rehabilitation requirement. The order banning him from contacting his wife and other family members for three years will continue.

Sentencing Clarke, who has been in custody since July 13, Recorder Rex Bryan warned him not to get in touch with his wife and other members of his family again.

Neil Saunders, for Clarke, said his client had found it extremely difficult to cope with the end of his 29-year relationship with his wife and it had impacted on his mental health.

He said that since taking medication Clarke had reflected on what happened and now accepted that his wife wanted to end the relationship and was not going to change her mind.

Mr Saunders said Clarke felt 100% better and no longer had suicidal thoughts or any intention of contacting his family.

“He knows full well what the consequences will be,” said Mr Saunders.

He said Clarke had a job and somewhere to stay and asked the court to allow him to leave prison and get on with his life.

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