Man bombarded ex with texts in row over access to disabled son

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A man texted his ex 54 times in little more than an hour, a court heard.

Liam Denner, 24, pleaded guilty to harassment at Wigan Magistrates’ Court after admitting sending the messages, some of which were abusive, to Zoe Horrocks who repeatedly told him to leave her alone.

Denner, of Charlotte Drive, Highfield, sent them in frustration at her not letting him see their terminally-ill 21-month-old son after the pair split.

Ged Fraser, defending, said: “I can’t see any reason why the police chose to charge Mr Denner and bring him to court unless is was because of the request for a restraining order.

“The victim has now obtained a non-molestation order through the civil court which contains compromises so that if their son is taken ill, the non-contact is dropped so Mr Denner can go to the hospital to see him.

“Their son was born six weeks prematurely with a condition that means he is rarely out of hospital and has a life expectancy of between a month and 15 years. As you can imagine, that means that Mr Denner wants to have access to his son and be able to see him as often as he can.”

He said that at first Miss Horrocks let Denner see the boy but then became concerned about his inability to tend to his special needs alone. Denner then sought hospital nurses’ help to address this. But after training Miss Horrocks still wouldn’t let him see his son.

“He began civil proceedings but when he was told that he would have to wait five to six weeks for a hearing that is when he became frustrated and sent the text messages,” said Mr Fraser. “Some were abusive, he accepts that but it was only over a short amount of time. He accepts sending the messages and that this amounted to harassment but he just wanted to be allowed to see his son.”

Justices agreed to Mr Fraser’s suggestion of giving Denner, who he had given up work to look after the boy and Miss Horrocks’s two other children, a conditional discharge - which will last 18 months. They also ordered him to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £85 costs.