Wife was ‘afraid’, court heard

A lorry driver shocked by his wife walking out pestered her with texts and self-harmed with a knife outside her home, leaving blood on her door.

Stephen Starr (51), of Eaugate Road, Moulton Chapel, had a formal police warning about harassment but continued to pester his wife with visits and an “inordinate” number of texts.

Magistrates on Thursday imposed a year-long restraining order banning Starr from contacting his wife unless through a solicitor, going to her Green Lane address in Spalding or attending Peterborough City Hospital unless he has an appointment or emergency treatment there.

He must also pay a £400 fine, £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Solicitor Ruth Harrop, mitigating, said Starr phoned his wife at teatime on September 4 and she told him then she had moved out.

Miss Harrop said: “He thought they were happily married and this came as a huge shock.”

He accepted he had sent an inordinate number of texts, but he was asking his wife if she would like to go for a meal or talk.

A lot of the messages were to say “I love you, I miss you, I want you back”.

Miss Harrop said there was mention of a knife on October 9 but he was self-harming.

“There haven’t been any threats to harm her,” she said.

Edward Johnson, prosecuting, said the Starrs were married for five years and together for nine.

After they separated in September, Mrs Starr moved to Spalding and complained to police on October 1 about him harassing her.

There were numerous text messages and repeated uninvited visits to her home.

Police gave Starr a formal harassment warning on October 3, but Mr Johnson said: “That didn’t abate his conduct.”

On October 9 he visited again, mentioned a knife, and Mrs Starr found blood on her door. There was another visit on October 12 when he arrived with flowers, chocolates and a card but Mrs Starr dialled 999 when he returned and banged on the door.