Violent harasser from Northampton has appeal to reduce sentence denied after repeatedly breaching court order

The harasser committed the breaches whilst already on bail for assaulting an former partner

By Max Pearson
Friday, 14th January 2022, 4:50 pm

A violent harasser from Northampton who assaulted one partner and repeatedly harassed another has had an appeal to reduce his sentence denied at Northampton Crown Court hearing on Friday (January 14).

Thomas McMullan, 31, of Huxloe Rise, Northampton, was appealing the sentences of three breaches of a non-molestation order against a former partner, which Magistrates found him guilty of back in November 2021.

The offences, which took place on three separate occasions between May and October 2021, were committed while McMullan was already on police bail, for assaulting another previous partner.

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Northampton Crown Court.

In that incident, on October 24, 2020, the offender had entered his then-partner's residence and proceeded to assault her before kicking in a bathroom door that she had hidden herself behind.

Priya Bakshi, prosecuting, said: "He had asked for money to buy alcohol and she refused, saying she didn't want to 'feed his habit'. He returned a few hours later and loudly banged on the door, which was locked.

"He said that he would buy some food and they could have dinner together, to which she agreed. When she let him inside he grabbed her by the neck and pushed her into the wall."

It was read that the partner could smell alcohol on McMullan's breath.

Ms Bakshi added: "The complainant challenged his behaviour and told him to leave. He refused to leave and poured them both a drink. When she said she didn't want a drink and asked him to leave he became hostile."

McMullan then chased his former partner to her bathroom where he proceeded to kick at the door she had hidden herself behind. He kicked so hard that the bottom of the door started to break inwards, at which point his victim 'curled up into a ball because she was so scared', as read the prosecution.

Police arrested him shortly after.

He later pleaded guilty to one count of common assault and one of destruction of property, namely the bathroom door.

However while he was on police bail for this offence he then began harassing another former partner, as well as a non-molestation order to stop him contacting her.

The harasser first breached this order on May 20, 2021, by sending her a Facebook friend request. He then breached it again on September 29 by loudly banging on her front door at around 5:30am before finally leaving after around 15 minutes. He admitted to drinking on this occasion.

On October 6, McMullan approached the complainant again.

Magistrates gave McMullan three consecutive sentences of 16 weeks imprisonment, one for each breach, which McMullan appealed.

His Honour Judge Mooncey, presiding over the appeal, decided that, while he would not have given such a sentence himself, he saw no reason to 'fiddle with the numbers' only to 'end up around the same place'.

His Honour said: "The reality is this defendant was subject to a very recent restraining order and despite being aware of it he was found, not on one occasion or two occasions, but three to break this order.

"The reality is that we are dealing with a man who has received 48 weeks total. We take the view that, while we would not have passed the sentence, we believe that it is appropriate."

McMullan's appeal was denied and he continues to serve his full sentence.