Spurned Wigan lover admits stalking

An engaged man sent a barrage of abusive messages to a married woman with whom he was having an affair, after she revealed she was going back to her husband.
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates CourtWigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

James Hurst bombarded his former partner with hundreds of texts and almost 40 phone calls when she spurned him for the chance of marital reconciliation.

He even went as far as sending her a video of himself holding a kitchen knife to his own throat, in a last-ditch attempt to get her to change her mind.

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Appearing before Wigan magistrates, the 28-year-old of Chorley Road, Standish, admitted stalking without fear or violence.

The court heard the pair’s eight-month relationship began while the woman said she was estranged from her husband.

Hurst, who was also in a 10-year relationship, had been “promised” by the woman that her marriage was over and the pair were said to have made plans to move in together.

But she had second thoughts and met Hurst to tell him of her U-turn. The rejection triggered an onslaught of abusive messages, which prosecutors said got “progressively darker” in tone over the course of a single day.

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Hurst even sent her videos of him screaming that she had “ruined his life.” He then went on to send her a photo of him holding a kitchen knife to his throat, with the caption “only you can save me.”

Fearing for her safety, the victim contacted husband and told him about Hurst’s behaviour.

It was only a short while later that he too received a message from Hurst, simply saying; “I think we need a chat pal,” which prompted him to leave the property for his own safety.

Probation workers also revealed that Hurst had admitted to drinking 10 pints of lager and a bottle of gin before the incident.

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Defending, Karen Moorfield said her client’s behaviour was “completely out of character,” adding: “His intention was to hurt her, but not physically, to devastate her.

“He was angry and upset but never threatened her with violence, he only threatened violence against himself.

“He was engaged himself and had already confided in his fiancée that he was leaving her.

“His world fell apart in one day. He deeply, deeply regrets his actions.”

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Hurst was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work, and was handed a £320 fine. He was also given a restraining order preventing him from contacting the couple.