Court hears woman was so frightened of a former partner she moved out of Ballymena

Court hears woman was so frightened of a former partner she moved out of Ballymena

A WOMAN frightened by a campaign of harassment by a former partner moved out of Ballymena "as she didn't feel safe due to his volatile behaviour," the town's Magistrates Court was told.

Details emerged as Paul Ruck (30), with an address given as Patrick Place in the town, was given a five months jail term for harassment which lasted between September and November, 2020.

District Judge Nigel Broderick told Ruck: "It is quite clear to the court that you have an appallingly poor attitude to females.

"That is evident from a number of factors. First of all the facts of this case; secondly the domestic abuse history in which there are 15 separate reports to police from females which make various allegations against you.

"And then there is your criminal record which has entries that are particularly relevant".

The judge said Ruck had three convictions for harassment and others for threats to kill and assault.

Judge Broderick said: "You were given a chance to rehabilitate yourself by engaging in a very worthwhile probation programme called 'Building Better Relationships' but you failed to do so. The reason you have proffered is because you were immature."

He said Ruck had an "appalling and reprehensible attitude to females which has resulted, no doubt, in significant emotional trauma, certainly in this case, and no doubt previously, physical trauma".

A prosecutor told the court that after a "brief relationship" with the defendant the woman said Ruck was "angry and insulting" towards her and had sent text messages and "electronic communications".

The defendant, the court heard, had described her in derogatory terms.

Despite telling Ruck to stop contacting her he sent more than 80 more messages.

The prosecutor said that "due to that ongoing harassment she had actually had to leave Ballymena as she didn't feel safe due to his volatile behaviour and she was worried that he would attend her address".

A defence barrister said Ruck has now "developed a level of maturity" and accepts his behaviour toward the woman was "completely unacceptable".

He said the defendant now has "stability" in his life and he has a job as a kitchen porter.

The lawyer said Ruck had been misusing substances at the time of the offences and when he was sending the messages he was "quite clearly not in the right place" but he is now off drugs.

As well as the five months prison term a two year Restraining Order was also put in place.

Bail in the sum of £500 was fixed for appeal.