A Rainworth man who accused his ex-partner of cheating on him outside a nursery, shortly after police warned him not to contact her, has been convicted of harassment.
Stephen Leigh Chuter, 38, of Harrow Close, denied harassing the woman in a trial at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.
But he accepted sending her a text on November 8 asking ‘Why?’ - one day after police told him not to contact her except through a mediation service.
Jo Chadd, prosecuting, told the court their relationship had broken down in May 2015, some time before the birth of their child, but they had remained on good terms until November.
On December 3 last year Chuter confronted the woman outside a nursery while the child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was asleep in her car.
“Mr Chuter began shouting at her and accusing her of cheating on him,” Ms Chadd said. “This caused her some alarm and distress. There was banging on the car window. He was asked to leave by a member of staff.
“He ought to have known it would amount to harassment of the woman.”
Chuter’s ex-partner told the court she had locked the car with the electronic fob because she feared he would take their child.
She said: “It didn’t seem to me how many warnings were put in place he was going to harass me and that made me feel powerless and unable to protect my family.”
She accused Chuter of supplying pictures of herself and her child to a former partner which were later posted on Facebook.
Chuter told the court he sent the text as a way of saying - ‘Why are you stopping me from seeing my child?’
He said: “I put my hand up. I laid in wait to have a talk with her, but in a nice way. I wasn’t aggressive.
“She has not let me see the child for nearly five months. What can I do? I have done nothing wrong to the woman ever. I just thought I would see if we could work things out.”
Magistrates found Chuter guilty of pursuing a course of conduct which amounted to harassment.
A two-year restraining order was imposed, banning Chuter from contacting his ex-partner.
He was fined £180 and ordered to pay costs of £625 with a victim surcharge of £20.