Wigan man cleared of stalking and part-strangling a woman

A Wigan man who had denied stalking, assaulting and intentionally strangling a woman has walked free after the case against him collapsed.

But Lee Turner was still handed a community punishment for two breaches of a non-molestation order concerning another woman of which he had been convicted in his absence last year.

The 35-year-old of Harvey Lane, Golborne, had been awaiting a trial at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court on the assault, strangulation and first stalking charge, but when he got there no evidence was offered and so the case was dismissed.

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He told Wigan Today that he hasn’t ruled out contesting the convictions, saying that the order that he breached was overturned in court weeks after the offence was committed.

Wigan Magistrates' Court

He added: “I have kids, I coach a rugby team and I have a business and all this has been very damaging to me.

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"I spent eight weeks in prison on remand for the stalking, assault and strangulation charges which were thrown out before they could go to trial.

"And I was convicted in my absence of the other charges at a hearing I hadn’t been made aware about. I would have gone if I had known.

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"The woman in question I haven’t spoken to in six years. She obtained a non-molestation order at the civil court and these can be granted without any evidence.

"I contested it but the case dragged on and in the meantime my car was seen twice going down the main road near where we live and that was enough to be in breach. Just weeks later I went to court and the original order was quashed, yet I have still been prosecuted for breaching an order that a court has ruled to be invalid.”

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Lee Turner was also proved guilty of a bail breach in his absence for not attending the court hearing when the two stalking cases were to be heard: which he says he wasn’t notified about.

He was given a community order involving completing a maximum of 20 days’ rehabilitation actitivities and observing an eight-week, electronically-tagged curfew. He must also pay £114 to victim services.