Man who tormented ex with distressing messages told her to “watch her back”

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A former partner who plagued his ex with abusive and frightening messages has been given a community order and unpaid work.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, October 18, how Lee Anthony Coates, 24, of Langdale Square, Brimington, Chesterfield, tormented his ex-partner, of Inkersall, with distressing messages during three weeks between August and September.

Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam said: “The couple separated on August 7 and they both knew it was over and since that point it had been amicable until August 10 with child contact arranged.

“She got a call from the defendant who was drunk and there was an outburst and on August 27 things escalated.”

Mrs Haslam explained that a friend of the complainant sent her a screen shot of the defendant’s Facebook account because the victim is not on Facebook and there was a distressing comment.

Coates had written that he hated his ex, according to Mrs Haslam, and he had insulted her and posed a question about what he might do if he had a bullet.

Mrs Haslam added that not long afterwards there was snapchat posting with the message offering anyone £500 is they “bang” his ex-partner.

Further messages made a reference about his son, insulted his ex and warned her to watch her back and that he had got someone watching her, according to Mrs Haslam.

Coates even sent a message about having met a nice police officer after she had complained to police and they had visited and warned him about his behaviour.

Mrs Haslam added that matters escalated further with more messages warning her to watch her back, that he would break-in and he had someone watching her.

The complainant stated she was sick of the abuse and feared someone was watching her and she has struggled to sleep and had been left feeling unsafe in her own home.

Coates pleaded guilty to harassment.

Defence solicitor Julie Page said Coates has referred himself for counselling and is already feeling the benefits.

Magistrates sentenced Coates to an 18 month community order with 140 hours of unpaid work.

He was also placed on a Building Better Relationships programme and given a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

Coates must also pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

The defendant also received a two year restraining order.