A convicted stalker breached his restraining order to contact his estranged wife.
65-year-old Stephen Barker first reached out to Julia Barker in a phone call on 31 October, Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard this afternoon (Wednesday).
During the conversation with the victim’s friend who answered the phone, he was told to stop.
However, on 10 November, he emailed Mrs Barker a blank message, with the subject line: “50 years today x” – which was believed to be in reference to when they first met.
Keith Ballinger told the court that Barker, of The Lancers in Sutton Mandeville, near Salisbury, was convicted of stalking involving serious alarm or distress in September.
At the hearing, the magistrates were told that he was messaging the victim continuously, calling her whilst withholding his phone number and attending her address in Guildford, Surrey, late at night.
He was handed a 12-month community order with 15 rehabilitation activity days and slapped with a restraining order prohibiting contact with Mrs Barker save through solicitors for divorce proceedings.
Today, defence solicitor Stephen Collins said that his client is “still clinging on to this relationship” and “says there is still that desire to make contact”.
He added that Barker’s offending is “fuelled by alcohol” and he is working to address the issue, attending AA meetings face-to-face and via video call.
The magistrates fined him £400 and told him to pay court costs and a surcharge. He was release from custody, where he has been held since his arrest.
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