Mum left ‘petrified’ by her ex

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A JILTED boyfriend breached both a restraining order and a non-molestation order by approaching his ex-partner three times in the space of just four days.

Nicholas Pilkington, 42, was verbally abusive to Julie Gorton three times in a week in February – just six months after being ordered by the courts to keep his distance following a conviction for harassment.

Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how the couple had split up two years ago following a turbulent eight-year relationship.

But Katie McFarlane, prosecuting, told how Pilkington first approached Ms Gorton on the morning of February 9 as she walked their four-year-old son to nursery.

When she tried to ignore him, the defendant picked up his son and told Ms Gorton “we need to talk”.

Ms Gorton said she just needed to get to the nursery, but Pilkington walked alongside her and told her “I’m coming round on Sunday and having my son for a few hours”.

Then, the following day, Pilkington approached Ms Gorton again as she walked their son to nursery.

This time he demanded his belongings back from their house and started shouting at her in the street.

Ms Gorton said the incident made her so upset and flustered that she forgot to give her son a kiss as she dropped him off at nursery.

In a further incident on February 12 Pilkington approached Ms Gorton and her mother in a pub. Ms Gorton found an envelope with a cross on it posted through her letterbox the following morning and told police how she is “petrified” of Pilkington.

Adam Whittaker, defending Pilkington, said his client – who pleaded guilty to all six charges – had never denied having contact with Ms Gorton.

But, crucially, Pilkington, of Hope Street, Leigh, argued that the contact was “reasonable” in a bid to try to get access to his son.

Mr Whittaker also revealed how his client was in “tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of debt”.

Magistrates handed Pilkington a 150-day jail sentence, suspended for 12 months. They also ordered him to undergo 12 months of probation service supervision and extended his restraining order to run until May 9, 2013.