Man convicted of stalking ex-girlfriend

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A man has been convicted of stalking an ex-girlfriend – after doing her gardening in breach of an official warning to leave her alone.

Michael Coleman, 43, had been warned by police not to contact his victim but was convicted of stalking her when he cut her lawn and filled ten bags with garden waste.

Kirklees Magistrates Court heard Coleman had been in a relationship with the victim 23 
years ago and the pair met by chance in a supermarket earlier this year.

They went on a few dates but the victim broke it off. She ignored texts from Coleman but eventually responded, asking for no more contact.

But the court heard he turned up at the stables where she kept her horses and received a package containing a letter and self-help book from Coleman.

A harassment order was made against him but the complainant went home the next day to find her lawn had been cut and gardening had been done.

On July 5, two days later, she woke to find Coleman gardening outside. She phoned police and he was arrested. He denied stalking but was convicted after a trial.

The victim said she felt paranoid and frightened and had changed her phone number.

Roger Clapham, mitigating, said Coleman had arranged to do her gardening when she phoned him to apologise for reporting him to the police for harassment.

“He feels he has been misunderstood,” he said. “He thought it was all going to be wonderful – she had different ideas.”

Coleman, of Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, was given a six-month community order and a 26-week electronic curfew and made the subject of an indefinite restraining order.

He was also ordered to pay £400 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.