Woman ‘felt sick’ after harassment left her ‘scared to take rubbish out’

woman felt sick after harassment left her scared to take rubbish out - Woman 'felt sick' after harassment left her 'scared to take rubbish out'

A man harassed his former partner after she refused to marry him on Christmas Day.

Claude Bitton would not relinquish his relationship with Sadie Hodgkins, Bristol Crown Court heard.

After turning up at her Long Ashton Home with an engagement ring on Christmas Day last year he told to leave – but confronted her in the street days later and left her abusive phone messages.

Bitton, 34, of Upper Bristol Road, Weston-super-Mare, pleaded guilty to putting a person in fear of violence including harassment and stalking.

Judge Paul Cook handed him 12 weeks custody, suspended for 18 months.

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He told Bitton, who has previous convictions for domestic violence: “You need to understand the impact your offending has on your victims.

“Your stalking and harassment got to the stage where she wouldn’t take her rubbish out for fear of you.

“She was on edge and was feeling sick from anxiety.”

The judge handed Bitton a two months curfew in which he must stay at home from 10pm to 6am.

He was also told to undergo rehabilitation and made the subject of an indefinite restraining order banning him from both direct and indirect contact with Miss Hodgkins.

Giles Nelson, prosecuting, said Bitton visited Miss Hodgkins at her home on Christmas Day and she told him to leave.

Mr Nelson told the court: “He said he wanted to marry her.

“She tried to walk away and there was a suggestion of a grab in the garden.

“He said he just wanted to talk.”

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Bitton went off but returned shortly after and dumped clothes over her garden, the court heard.

On December 30 he approached her outside a Co-op store and accused her of having a new boyfriend, blocking her path in the process.

And on December 31 he phoned her multiple times and left her abusive messages.

His abuse left her feeling anxious about leaving her home.

Susan Cavender, defending, said: “The offences are against a background of an unhappy relationship breaking down.

“No malice was intended, in fact quite the opposite.

‘Pattern of offending’

“On Christmas Day he had an engagement ring.

“He was desperate to re-establish the relationship…

“He knows he has to learn to cope better with the breakdown of relationships.”

Jane Middleton, a probation officer, said Bitton had suffered from mental health issues and prison could constitute a risk to him.

She said: “He has a tendency to focus on his own needs to the exclusion of other people.

“There is an established pattern of offending within relationships.”

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