Acid threat ex-boyfriend sent to jail

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A WIGAN man who threatened to throw acid over his ex-girlfriend’s face has been jailed for four months and given an indefinite restraining order.

Wigan Magistrates Court heard how Robert Smith, 38, bombarded former partner, Paula Hatton, with abusive and threatening text and voice messages after she broke up with him in March this year.

The pair had been in a relationship off and on for eight years but after his release from prison in October 2010, for an unrelated offence, the relationship started to deteriorate and after a few months Miss Hatton decided to end it.

The court heard how she had gone to work one day and when she returned home she found a lot of missed calls from Smith, of Great Acre, Whelley, who could not get into his ex-girlfriend’s house because she had changed the locks.

It was then that the harassment started and Miss Hatton was overwhelmed with threats.

Prosecuting, Mike Ardern, said: “There were a number of text messages sent to Miss Hatton, one told her to have a nice holiday because when she returned her house would be burnt down. She said that the message made her feel sick and really bothered her and that after this she continued to get calls from the defendant at various times of the day and night.”

A message was sent from Smith’s phone showing a picture of a man’s hand holding a hand gun and another said that the defendant was going to throw acid into Miss Hatton’s face.

It said: “Nobody will want you, want to kiss you or make love to you. You broke my heart and messed my head up.”

Defending, Chris Sykes, said: “Mr Smith accepts that the majority of things had been said but that he never had any intention of carrying them out.”

Smith has 22 convictions, three for violent offences, but that the last violent offence was in 1999. In 2005 he was convicted for a very similar offence towards his ex wife, for which he was given a custodial sentence and a restraining order.

He was given a four month prison sentence to start immediately and an indefinite restraining order.