Jail threat to man who threatened ex-partner over harassment case

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A JAIL sentence hangs over a man who harassed his former partner and tried to pressure her into withdrawing her complaint.

Police issued gas fitter Frank Cooper with a harassment warning after a domestic incident at Michelle Hill’s home in Highfield Road, Hayfield.

But Cooper (37) took no notice and bombarded the university student with text messages, magistrates at Chesterfield were told.

“She says he accused her of sleeping with a workman who was digging up the front garden outside her house,” said Rosemary Lake, prosecuting.

Ms Hill (32) attended a kick-boxing class at a gym and received a message from Cooper stating: “Look behind you”. He was watching her from his works van.

He accused her of forcing him out of Hayfield so she could “carry on” and claimed she had slept with a kick-boxing instructor. He warned: “If I get charged you had better hide far away.” Cooper was eventually charged with harassment. He then texted her: “Drop the charge or I’m going to HMP. You have got til the end of tonight.”

Cooper continued trying to pressure Ms Hill into dropping her complaint to police. He confronted her at Disley railway station after sending texts.

She ran away and tried to phone 999 before her parents picked her up.

Ms Hill told police: “I’m very frightened of Frank. He doesn’t listen to police and I don’t believe he will stop until something bad happens.”

Cooper, of Elf Mill Close, Stockport, admitted harassment and intimidating a witness. He received an 18-week jail term suspended for a year. The bench also imposed a one-year probation supervision order, with £85 costs, and a three-year restraining order prohibiting Cooper from contacting Ms Hill or going to her gym.

Joe Harvey, for Cooper, said that his client claimed: “He arrived home earlier than she expected and found her in bed with his best friend. Things didn’t go swimmingly after that and he accepts his pursuit of answers from her amounted to harassment.”