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“Are you seeing someone?”: Drunk man, 41, broke restraining order by barging into ex-girlfriend’s home and refusing to let her leave

A serial domestic abuser breached a court order not to contact his former partner by forcing his way into her home and attacking her.

Christopher McKenna, 41, harassed his ex-girlfriend in person and via text three times in four days.

Manchester Crown Crown court heard the couple had been in a relationship for two years, but that it came to an end in February this year due to McKenna’s behaviour.

READ MORE:Forensics scour Manchester street after man stabbed

The dad-of-two was subsequently made the subject of a restraining order in April, which legally prevented him from contacting the woman.

But the court heard that on July 9, the woman received a text message from McKenna’s mum which she understood to be from him saying, ‘are you seeing someone.’

The woman was then sent a series of text messages from the same number.

Prosecutor, Eleanor Gleeson, told the court that at around 9pm the woman went upstairs, before hearing footsteps on her landing around 45 minutes later.

A short time later her bedroom door was opened by McKenna.

Ms Gleeson said the woman shouted at her teenage daughter to phone the police, prompting McKenna to leave the house.

The following day, on July 10, there was a knock at the woman’s door and McKenna appeared from the left of the property.

“She tried to shut the door but the defendant put his foot in the way. He was drunk and said he wanted to see his son,” Ms Gleeson said.

“He barged his way into the property and she suffered a small cut to her finger. She tried to run to the back door to escape.

“He grabbed her neck and pulled her back so she couldn’t leave. She ran upstairs to try and call the police.

“The defendant grabbed her phone. She tried to get to the front door but it had been locked.”

The court heard that the terrifying ordeal only stopped when her daughter arrived home and the police were called.

On July 12, the woman’s teenage daughter and one-year-old son who she shared with McKenna were at the front of the house when he was seen entering their garden.

“He walked up the path and asked to see his son,” Ms Gleeson said.

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

Common signs of controlling and coercive behaviour include:

• Isolating you from friends and family

• Depriving you of basic needs, such as food

• Monitoring your time

• Monitoring you via online communication tools or spyware

• Taking control over aspects of your everyday life, such as where you can go, who you can see, what you can wear and when you can sleep

• Depriving you access to support services, such as medical services

• Repeatedly putting you down, such as saying you’re worthless

• Humiliating, degrading or dehumanising you

• Controlling your finances

• Making threats or intimidating you

“She told him he was not supposed to be there and then he saw her recording him and left.”

The court heard that McKenna has a number of convictions against former partner’s, and had already breached a restraining order against this woman on a previous occasion.

He appeared before the court via video link from prison, after being recalled due to his arrest for the most recent set of breaches.

Defending McKenna, Megan Tollitt said: “He knows he did wrong and he knows now that relationship is definitely over.

“He was arrested and recalled in July and has spent the last 11 weeks in custody. He has used his time on recall to address his offending behaviour and alcohol misuse.

“He has recently been diagnosed with anxiety and depression.”

McKenna, of Chippenham Road, Manchester, was jailed for two years after being convicted of assault by beating and three counts of breaching a restraining order.

Sentencing, Recorder Kate Cornell said: “You have shown absolutely no respect for the court orders in place or for the feelings of the victim.

“She had every reason to be fearful in her own home from you who turned up at her house when you pleased. It was an absolutely unacceptable act.

“You have an unenviable history of offending partners in the past. Custody has not stopped you, restraining orders have not stopped you, nothing seems to get through to you.

“Imagine being the 16 year old teenager seeing her mother terrorised by a man who will not leave her alone. Your own one year old son was also present.”

McKenna was also made subject to a further restraining order not to contact the victim for a minimum of two years.

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