A CHURCH employee who became obsessed with his former girlfriend following their break-up has been given a restraining order and told by a judge to keep away from her.
Mark Hale, 51, who was chief executive of a company running a chain of social clubs in Birkenhead on behalf of the Diocese of Shrewsbury, was told he would be jailed if he contacted Lynne Williams.
District Judge Michael Ableson described the case as “unique in his experience”.
It centred around what was described as Hale’s “disgraceful” behaviour towards his ex-girlfriend.
Liverpool magistrates court heard after their split Hale, of East Mount, Orrell, wrote letters to Ms Williams’s employer containing sensitive personal information, causing her what District Judge Ableson described as “a considerable amount of distress”.
He said the relationship was “a dysfunctional relationship, the strangest of relationships.”
District Judge Ableson added: “Let’s face it, it goes without saying that when someone starts sending letters to your employer and directors of companies, it is bound to cause a great deal of distress.”
He described the relationship as dysfunctional because Ms Williams was dealing with a man who was clearly very disturbed at times during the course of this relationship.
He told Ms Williams: “Of course, dealing with someone who is obsessed with you is a difficult task.”
But he added there were many occasions when Ms Williams had been quite happy to contact him.
“It has been quite clear that you have conceded that was one of the weak points of your case.”
District Judge Ableson added: “You (Ms Williams) conceded you behaved foolishly in that quite often you would contact him even after a period of time had gone by.
“As you have learned from experience, it just encouraged him to believe he might have some hope for a future with you.
“You conceded he could make life extremely difficult and uncomfortable.”
He told Hale: “Really you should be ashamed of yourself.
“Some of the letters you wrote to her employers were disgraceful and there is no justification for that.”
He warned Hale not to make contact with his former partner.
He said: “Don’t, for example, start by sending a memo or email or text saying ‘sorry about this, best of luck for the future’.
“If you do that, I will give you six months in jail.”
Hale was bound over in the sum of £250 and ordered not to contact Ms Williams or two family members or visit any of their work premises.
He was also ordered him not to attend the work address of another family member who he had never met.
The company sacked Hale after he was charged with harassment.
After the hearing, Hale said: “It was a private matter between me and her and my employers had no right to stick their noses in.”