Anti-social Wigan menace avoids jail

An anti-social menace who waged a harassment campaign against a neighbour and sent lurid texts to another has walked free.

Christopher Whalley was given a suspended jail term after admitting to harassment and sending threatening communications at Wigan Magistrates’ Court.

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

The bench heard Whalley’s next door neighbour had to put up with banging on the walls and abusive shouting directed at her and her teenage son for two months this year.

He even threatened to slit her throat while he was on bail for the offence and forbidden to contact her, the court was told.

Police also discovered the 32-year-old had sent sexually-explicit messages to a second woman living on his street.

In the most shocking of them Whalley, of Greenwood Avenue, Worsley Hall, told her to wear revealing clothing if she brought the matter to court and threatened to perform a sex act on himself in the dock while she gave evidence against him.

The bench gave Whalley 12 weeks in prison and suspended it for 18 months, also ordering him to observe a six-week curfew and putting restraining orders in place to protect his victims.

Prosecuting, Tess Kenyon said the harassment victim told police there had been problems almost as soon as she moved in, adding: “There has been banging on the walls and shouting through the walls. In May she heard shouting coming from next door, calling someone to come out and have a fight.

She believed it was in reference to her son.

“In July she heard the defendant ranting about a Samurai sword. On another occasion he made a sexual comment. The woman living opposite had been giving leaflets out for a friend who is a gardener. He had received weird text messages mentioning her name.

"She called to find out who it was and the phone was attributed to the defendant. She started receiving strange messages. She was distressed and reported the matter to the police.”

Defending, Imran Ali said Whalley and his mother were also in a very difficult situation, although his client accepted what he had done.

Mr Ali said: “Since May there have been a number of incidents where he and his mother have been targeted. Their front living room window has been smashed; there have been two burglaries with laptops stolen; their pet bird has been killed and left on the floor of the address. These have traumatised him and his mother and they are very emotional.

“It is unclear who has committed these offences. He has logged them with the police but unfortunately, due to a lack of evidence, nothing has been done. This has been at the forefront of his mind and he has taken matters into his own hands and made threats.”

It was made clear in court there is nothing to suggest either complainant is linked in any way to the incidents Whalley and his mother have experienced and both women are of good character.

Two-year restraining orders were issued for both victims and also the neighbour’s teenage son. Whalley was also ordered to pay £200 in costs and a victim surcharge.