Northumberland stalker back behind bars after damaging ex's underwear and other items

Michael Holliday, jailed for offences including breaching a restraining order and harassment
Michael Holliday, jailed for offences including breaching a restraining order and harassment -Credit:Northumbria Police

A stalker is back behind bars for damaging his former partner's underwear and other items after taking over her home for hours.

The victim had been in a relationship with Michael Holliday for five years and said it was good to begin with but that he became increasingly possessive. They split in 2019 but his bad behaviour continued, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

In March 2019 she found him in her house and there was an altercation during which he smashed a wine glass and repeatedly whipped a tea towel in her face, causing reddening. He then embarked on a campaign of stalking between May and August 2022.

One day, she saw him standing in her back yard and was so frightened, she fled. Upon her return, she found damage to her front door and a shattered window. On another day, she was at work in Ashington when she found him hiding behind some bins in an alley.

Then on a different day she was in the car with her mother when they noticed him following closely behind. Her mother pulled in to see what he wanted but drove off as he approached the car with raised fists. He also bombarded her with 270 voicemails in the space of around seven weeks, veering from pleading to get back together to insults and more menacing messages.

In February last year, the 47-year-old, of Walton Drive, Stakeford, Northumberland, was jailed for 16 months for stalking and given an indefinite restraining order.

However, having been released, in February this year he was still contacting her. They argued and he said he would attend her home and she told him not to but he did anyway.

When she opened her door, he pushed his way into her home and accused her of sleeping with a mutual friend and tried to take her phone to conduct an investigation into his allegations. The court heard the woman left her home and then received various abusive messages, including him saying he was urinating on her sofa.

She then pretended to be at a police station to try to get him to leave but he was still there two hours later. When she eventually returned home, she found he had damaged various personal belongings, including five pairs of underwear, five pairs of jeans and five shirts. Her hair straighteners were also broken and her iPad was left unusable and he had daubed abuse on a mirror and jumper.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: "As a result of his behaviour I vomited due to anxiety when I left the house. I'm scared of him getting out of custody and coming to my address.

"This all started because he believed I was trying to sleep with our mutual friend. It makes me think it's easier to not have friends."

Holliday, who has 17 previous convictions, pleaded guilty to harassment, breaching a restraining order, criminal damage and possessing amphetamines and cannabis. He was jailed for 26 months.

Glenn Reardon, defending, said: "There had been contact for a number of months that was encouraged by (the victim). He wishes to move on and he has got no intention of rekindling the relationship or of speaking to her again, which is perhaps some comfort for her going forward.

"He was in employment before he was remanded in custody and he is working in prison."