Extra security for abuse victim

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Crime story

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A TERRIFIED woman has been given fortress security for her home to keep a violent former partner at bay.

Michael Jeffries, 27, of Bentinck Street, Goose Green, pleaded guilty to the intent to cause his ex-girlfriend harassment, alarm or distress using threatening behaviour at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court.

And the hearing was told how Michelle Dwyer was living in fear of the defendant after years of abuse.

This had resulted in the Domestic Violence Service fitting five extra locks at her Ince home to keep him out.

Prosecuting, Katie Beattie said the pair had been in an on-and-off relationship for two and a half years.

A statement from Ms Dwyer said she had regularly experienced beatings, head-butting and had been strangled by the defendant whom she labelled a “stalker”.

The couple split on various occasions but had always got back together after he had pursued her.

Ms Beattie explained that Jeffries, who suffers from a personality disorder, also drinks excessively.

On Saturday October 4 Jeffries began to bang on Ms Dwyer’s door and shout up at her. She ignored him and after a while he went away.

Shortly afterwards Ms Dwyer left the house to walk into the town centre and Jeffries, who lived next door to her at the time, heard and came out to apologise. At 2pm she returned and Jeffries again came out to help her with the bags before leaving. It wasn’t long when at 6.30pm he returned.

Then Jeffries began to accuse her of being with another man when she refused him entry. She denied this but he continued saying: “Let me in or else I’ll let myself in.”

Ms Dwyer then contacted the police when he became angry and began banging on the door four times in an attempt to get in before officers arrived and arrested him.

Ms Beattie explained Jeffries admitted he had a drinking disorder and consumed around 12 cans of Fosters lager a day. She added: “He has acted in a manner where he has harassed the victim.”

Defending, Colin Rawson said there were two sides to every story.

He added: “It’s slightly unfair for my client to be labelled a girlfriend-beater when he has not been charged for any other related offences.”

The case has been adjourned until October 27 pending a probation report. Jeffries has been released on conditional bail providing he has no contact with Michelle Dwyer and to not enter Henry Park Street, Ince.