Harassing ex bragged that courts would only dole out 's****y warning'

Oxford Crown Court Picture: Ed Nix
Oxford Crown Court Picture: Ed Nix

A man who admitted harassing his ex was said to have told pals he would receive a ‘s****y warning’ from the courts ‘and that’s it’.

Hamish Martin’s alleged bragging found little favour with Judge Maria Lamb at Oxford Crown Court on Friday (February 3).

Imposing a two year community order with a requirement to complete domestic violence programmes with probation, the judge noted - archly - that she did not know how the 25-year-old would describe the court’s warning.

“Let it be without any doubt a clear warning to you that if you do not cooperate with these requirements you will come back in front of me and you will go to prison,” she said.

“So, you can describe that warning in whatever terms you like – but I’ll have a note of it.”

The court heard that Martin had, over the course of around two months between last July and September, repeated rude remarks about the woman’s appearance, made a number of threats and driven ‘slowly’ past her mother’s home. The offences were committed in Oxford.

On one occasion he threatened the woman – who had only recently given birth to his baby – telling her ‘I’m going to light you up’. She did not believe he would make good the threat, but said it left her feeling anxious.

Prosecuting, Ann-Marie Critchley said: “The harassment relates to a period of approximately two months during which he pestered her with messages, notwithstanding her having made it clear the relationship was over. This was causing considerable emotional distress and – really – driving her round the bend.”

The harassing messages continued despite her making several statements to the police and the defendant’s arrest, the court heard.

In an impact statement read to the court by Ms Critchley, the victim said her anxiety had got ‘a lot worse’ while waiting for Martin to be sentenced.

She questioned his remorse, alleging she heard that he had told others he ‘doesn’t care what happens’ and that he ‘will receive a s****y warning and that’s it’.

His ‘constant name calling’ had left her feeling ‘extremely self-conscious’ of her body and appearance, she said.

Martin, now of Hengoed, Caerphilly, pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court late last year to a single count of harassment. The conviction put him in breach of a 16 month suspended prison sentence – imposed in 2021 – for a brawl at the Mad Hatter cocktail bar on Iffley Road.

Mitigating, Lyall Thompson said the ‘parties have now moved on’. The building better relationships course, recommended by a probation officer in a pre-sentence report, was ‘exactly what this man needs’, his barrister said.

Sentencing, Judge Lamb accused the defendant of employing ‘petulant dramatics’ to ‘try and emotionally blackmail your former partner’.

She quoted Martin’s words to the probation officer that ‘there might be stuff I could change I don’t even know needs changing’.

“It’s time you woke up,” she barked at the defendant. “That sort of behaviour isn’t going to be tolerated.”

Martin was ordered to complete an accredited programme under the direction of probation, 120 hours of unpaid work, a four month tag and pay £425 in costs. A restraining order limits his contact with his ex-partner for five years.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward