A MAN whose ‘persistent’ contact of an ex-girlfriend put him in breach of both a restraining order and a suspended prison sentence has been jailed for a year-and-a-half.

Shaun Green, of Roman Way, contacted his former partner around 20 times over a two-month period while a court order was in place preventing him from doing so.

The 37-year-old was said to have been in touch with his ex via Facebook, text message, voice calls and through third parties calling on his behalf.

Questions were raised in court over who made the first contact, but it was noted that this did not matter – either way Mr Green was in breach.

The Andover man pleaded guilty to charges put to him at Winchester crown court on Monday and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

During the hearing the court heard how Mr Green had contacted his ex-girlfriend “in the region of 20” times between April 19 and June 10, last year.

At the time he had been subject to a restraining order, imposed in November 2019, which prevented him from making direct or indirect contact with his former partner.

Messages were shared with the court, one of which read “you’re the only one I want.”

Jane Terry, prosecuting, said that the claimant had moved to a refuge in London and “did not feel safe” to return to the area because of Mr Green's contact. In doing so she had to leave her children, who are now living with their father away from her.

Ms Terry said: “She has been forced to make considerable changes to her life in fear of contact from the defendant.”

However it was noted that Mr Green had admitted the charges at the earliest opportunity, had made efforts to comply with other conditions imposed upon him and now spent most of his time indoors.

“He’s almost frightened to go out in case he bumps into this lady,” said Jamie Gammon, mitigating.

“Every single day he has had to go to the police station in Andover to sign on and he’s complied with that religiously.”

Mr Green called to his lawyer for a brief exchange just before his sentencing, after which Mr Gammon told the court: “He is regretful for what he’s done and is aware that what he has done has let a lot of people down.”

In sentencing, the Recorder of Salisbury, His Honour Judge A J Barnett said: “You appear before me for breach of that order, which you breached on many occasions – I counted in the region of 20 breaches.

“You persistently contacted her... and this contact went on throughout April and May of 2019,” he added.

The judge also addressed the defendant’s previous convictions which were described as “considerable exacerbating history” and included, as well as the earlier suspended sentence, the harassment of two other people.

He also explained that “immediate custody” was the only suitable punishment for the crime.

“In my judgment it can only be achieved by immediate custody. It cannot be a suspended sentence.”

Mr Green was sentenced to 16 months in prison for breaching the restraining order, reduced from two years for the earlier guilty plea. He was also given an additional two months, down from four, for breaching his suspended sentence.

As he was taken away he turned and gave a salute to those present in the public gallery.