Appeal Court slashes rant thug jail term

A ranting thug who harassed and intimidated his ex - ordering her to hand over a beloved pet dog - has had his sentence almost halved by senior judges.

Friday, 27th May 2016, 2:43 pm
Updated Friday, 27th May 2016, 4:48 pm

Ronald Todd was imprisoned for 68 weeks at Liverpool Crown Court in March after admitting two breaches of a restraining order.

That was imposed last year after he “harassed his ex-partner by sending her 300 unwanted texts and made 25 unwanted visits to her”, London’s Appeal Court heard.

The estranged couple had separated in June last year but Todd “did not take the end of their relationship well”, said Mr Justice Goss.

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To protect his ex, Todd was ordered to stay away from an “exclusion zone”, measuring 100 metres around her home.

But in January Todd, of Sherwood Grove, Leigh, breached the order after driving past her in his van as she was walking her dog in Leigh town centre.

“He suddenly stopped and reversed,” said Mr Justice Goss, and Todd then began haranguing his ex.

Insisting that the pet was his property, Todd shouted at her to hand over the dog, the court heard.

He was “ranting and raving” and left his victim “shocked and fearful”, said the judge.

Feeling “very vulnerable and scared”, the judge said “she regarded him as a menace and believed all his threats.”

Todd’s case reached the Appeal Court as he challenged his jail term - which included activation of a previous suspended sentence.

And Mr Justice Goss, sitting with Mr Justice Popplewell, agreed to cut his total sentence to 36 weeks.

No actual violence had been used and there was no evidence of the victim suffering severe psychological harm, the judge said.

But he concluded: “We do not underestimate the sense of fear and vulnerability felt by this woman.”