Clitheroe man locked his ex in house for six hours

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A CLITHEROE man kept his estranged partner locked in her house for six hours as he repeatedly quizzed her about a new relationship.

Blackburn magistrates heard that during the incident 19-year-old Jonathan O’Neill smashed the television.

His victim’s ordeal came to an end when he threw a cup of cold coffee over her and her baby and then left the house – locking the door behind him. She had to call to a passing window cleaner for help as O’Neill had taken her mobile phone.

O’Neill, now of Cleveleys Road, Blackburn, admitted assaulting Chloe Townsend and Lexa Louise O’Neill, criminal damage to a TV and stealing two mobile phones. He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, made subject to community supervision for 12 months and ordered to pay £305 compensation and £85 costs.

Mrs Joanne Close (prosecuting) said Miss Townsend came downstairs at 7 a.m. and O’Neill had entered the house they had shared in Clitheroe. She found him going through her mobile phones and he started questioning her about where she had been and what she had been doing.

“She didn’t want to argue and went back upstairs with the baby,” said Mrs Close. “He continued to question her and when she tried to leave she found both doors had been locked. Over the next few hours he kept questioning her and she kept asking him to leave.”

When O’Neill threw the coffee on the mother and child the baby started to cry and he left immediately. Soon after he rang the police and asked them to check on her. He said he had found she was sleeping with someone else and he was on his way to “get” the other man.

Mr Andrew Church-Taylor (defending) said as soon as he threw the coffee and the baby started to cry, O’Neill realised what he was doing and that he was wrong.

“Miss Townsend didn’t call the police when she borrowed the window cleaner’s phone, she called her grandmother,” said Mr Church-Taylor. “It was my client who got the police involved and as you have heard Miss Townsend does not request a restraining order.”