Derbyshire donkey killer jailed for harrassing woman

Darrel Duffill killed Claude the donkey in 2011.
Darrel Duffill killed Claude the donkey in 2011.
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A man who once shot dead a woman's pet donkey with a hunting rifle has been locked up for harassing the same lady.

A court heard how Darrel Duffill was handed a restraining order not to contact the woman after shooting 10-year-old Claude dead in Cornwall in 2011.

That offence saw him fire a bullet into the temple of the animal followed by two more shots as it lay on the ground in its stable.

At the time, he lived in a cabin on land close to the town of Looe and committed the offence, which is classed as criminal damage, following an argument with the victim.

This week, Derby Crown Court was told how 60-year-old Duffill, now of Howitt Street, Heanor, 'constantly breaches the order' by contacting her and keeps being sent to prison.

His latest offence saw him phone the woman the very day he was released from his latest sentence on licence.

Sam Coe, prosecuting, said: "He first called them at around 8pm but they did not answer the phone as they did not recognise the number.

"Then he called again at 10.10pm and the woman's partner answered.

"The defendant recognised his voice immediately and the defendant said to him 'I just got out of prison today and thanks to you I spent nine months inside'.

"'Now, thanks to you they have taken everything from me, my false teeth and my wheelchair'."

Mr Coe explained to the court this referred to Duffill discovering on his release how all of his possessions had been removed from his Heanor house by the landlord.

He said: "The victim has told officers that the phone call left her in shock, fear and anxious about what he might do."

He said Duffill was arrested by Derbyshire police and said he had called the woman in Cornwall 'by mistake' on June 12, the day of his prison release. But he later pleaded guilty to breaching a restraining order and harassment.

Recorder Michelle Heeley QC handed Duffill an eight-month prison term to run alongside his existing recall to prison.

She said: "The day you were released from prison you called your victim not once but twice when you knew you had a restraining order against contacting her.

"You have broken it lots of time and you have simply not learned your lesson.

"There is no excuse for what you did, you have no-one to blame but yourself."

Jonathan Hullis, for Duffill, said his client 'has a plan' to stop him from not breaching the order again when he is released next March.

He said: "He will delete the woman's number from his phone. He has not seen her in person since his 2011 conviction.

"He deeply regrets what he did and has a plan in place to stop him from spending any more time in prison."