Offender harassed his ex and did thousands of pounds’ worth of damage in shop

Sunday 11th September 2022 5:30 am
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Exterior view of the Isle of Man Courthouse in Douglas - (Isle of Man Newspapers )

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A man who harassed his former girlfriend and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage at a shop has been handed a suspended sentence.

Thomas Lee Parsons was also given a two-year restraining order in respect of the woman and made the subject of a two-year suspended sentence supervision order.

Parsons must also pay £3,100 in compensation to craft beer shop Bottle Monkey, on Nelson Street, Douglas.

He was also given a 12-month licensing ban.

We previously reported that the woman ended her relationship with Parsons on July 25 with concerns over what she described as controlling behaviour.

However, between that day and August 21, he sent her more than 100 messages, many of them insulting and abusive.

Messages which are printable included ‘I hate you so much’, ‘I should have spat straight in your face’, ‘Your windows are getting smashed’, and ‘I’m gonna smash your neck in.’

On one occasion Parsons, who lives in Derby Square in Douglas, waited outside the woman’s workplace and was verbally aggressive after she asked him to leave.

Another time she agreed to meet him in Lord Street to collect £80 that he owed to her.

She collected the money and left on a bus but then found Parsons waiting outside her home.

He was then said to have tried to get into her house.

On another occasion he threw stones at the window of her home which prompted the woman to call the police after she had recorded him on video.

Parsons was subsequently arrested and at police headquarters answered ‘no comment’ to all questions.

He pleaded guilty to the harassment charge but after being released on bail, Parsons again contacted the woman and threatened her on Snapchat which resulted in him being arrested and remanded in custody.

On February 26, Parsons was arrested after causing thousands of pounds’ worth of damage at Bottle Monkey in Nelson Street.

He was initially charged with burglary, which he denied, but this was downgraded to a criminal damage charge which he admitted.

Parsons also admitted breaching a community service order as he has only completed 37 hours out of the 160 imposed in August last year for provoking behaviour and being found drunk in a public place.

Those offences occurred after he was refused entry to 1886 bar and told a bouncer: ‘I’ll spark you out.’

Defence advocate Stephen Wood said that there were similarities between the harassment offence and the provoking behaviour in that Parsons appeared to have difficulties in taking no for an answer.

‘He is disgusted with himself over the messages,’ said Mr Wood.

‘It may come as some comfort that following his appearance today he’ll be accompanied by a restraining order.

‘He doesn’t think prison’s the right place for him. He wants to be a better man and wants to do something constructive.’

The advocate went on to say that Parsons would be working with his uncle if he did not go to jail and this would enable him to pay compensation to the Bottle Monkey faster.

He continued, saying: ‘The comfort from the restraining order and the imposition of a suspended sentence supervision order would allow work to be undertaken and ultimately Mr Parsons would be better equipped to deal with the stresses and strains of life.

‘It would provide him with the tools to address his own behaviour and keep him out of court.’

A probation report assessed Parsons as a low risk of harm to the public and medium risk of reoffending.

High Bailiff Jayne Hughes said that the maximum sentence she could impose would be 12 months custody, which would mean Parsons serving six months.

However, Mrs Hughes said that this would mean he was unlikely to receive any assistance or treatment to address his offending behaviour, would lose his employment, and be unable to start paying the compensation.

In suspending the sentence, the High Bailiff said she had considered Parsons’ guilty pleas, his young age, his lack of previous custodial experience, and the fact that he had spent 13 days on remand.

Mrs Hughes sentenced Parsons to nine months in custody, suspended for two years.

He must also pay £175 prosecution costs and will pay all amounts at a rate of £40 per week.

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