Man harassed his ex-partner

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A Buxton man harassed his ex-partner after they split up, calling her numerous times at work and even jumped out of a bush outside her home, a court heard.

Roy Lacey had been in a relationship with Esther Hotchin for around three months, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard. The relationship had been going well at first but then Lacey’s mental health deteriorated and by mid-June this year, he became suspicious and paranoid, prosecutor Sherall Pickford said.

On June 21, he accused her of texting other people and after an argument, prevented Ms Hotchin from leaving his Cross Street flat.

She suffered a panic attack and when he eventually unlocked the door, Ms Hotchin ran to her car.

But Lacey followed her and jumped in the driver’s seat, telling Ms Hotchin she had had too much to drink to drive.

Ms Hotchin had only had half a can of alcohol but Lacey drove her to the end of the road and took a photo of her in the car, wearing her nightdress, the court heard.

Over the next two or three days, he then made an excessive number of phone calls both to Ms Hotchin’s work phone and to her mobile number. He also phoned the managing director of the business Ms Hotchin worked for and lied that she had been caught drink-driving in her company car.

On June 25, she received numerous calls from him and when she returned home, he jumped out of a bush he had been hiding in, Ms Pickford said.

He made threats to damage her car and bike, and also sent her messages intimating suicide, the court heard.

Lacey, 32, admitted harassment, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and using a vehicle without insurance.

The case was adjourned until November 23 so a pre-sentence report could be prepared.