Rainworth woman headbutted by ex who took her car

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court

A Rainworth woman was headbutted, spat on and verbally humiliated by her former partner who ignored a court order banning him from contacting her and even drove off in her car.

Martin Philip Fletcher, 34, of Hykeham Road, Lincoln, pleaded guilty to three counts of harassment, which put him in breach of two restraining orders, as well as assault.

He also admitted driving while disqualified, and without insurance, on November 7 last year at Mansfield Magistrates Court.

Robert Carr, prosecuting, told the court Fletcher’s four-year relationship with the woman ended in 2014 when he assaulted her.

He said: “In June 2015 he told her he had been to classes run by the probation service. She believed him and let him back into her house.”

At first they had been on amicable terms, but the woman, who the court heard suffered from poor health, said he soon resumed his ‘old ways’.

Mr Carr said: “He started to send her messages saying she was a bad mother and, in her words, ranting against her. He told her she was a drain on the NHS.”

The court heard Fletcher took her silver Volkswagon Golf and told her he was going to keep it because, he said, she owed him money.

“She let him keep the car, because is stopped him pestering her,” said Mr Carr.

When Fletcher started texting her about the wheel locks on the car, she eventually called the police. Fletcher was caught driving without insurance on the A616 at Newark and accepted sending the messages.

The court heard that Fletcher began ‘plaguing’ her by phone until she allowed him to accompany her and their son to a party on November 15 last year.

Mr Carr said: “She says an argument started and when she threatened to call the police, he knocked her to the floor, spat on her and headbutted her.

“He said he would spend the rest of his life taking her down.

“He pushed her to the floor in a rugby tackle.”

Between November 16, 2015, and February 8, 2016, the court heard the woman received a number of messages from Fletcher on Facebook and that he kept calling her from different phones.

The woman described herself as extremely anxious, with medical problems that were exacerbated by anxiety.

Mitigating, Morgan Hogarth told the court that much of Fletcher’s attempts to contact the woman had been to arrange a meeting with their son.

The court heard he was in full time employment as a floor fabricator who sent his wages directly to his ex-partner because he was bankrupt.

Mr Hogarth said the head butt was not ‘as you would anticipate in a violent disorder’ but involved Fletcher pressing his forehead against the woman’s head.

He said some breaches of the restraining order had contained a ‘level of active involvement’.

Magistrates told Fletcher his offences were ‘so serious’ that custody was the only option.

He was remanded into custody until April 4 for sentencing at Nottingham Crown Court.