Five convictions in five years for domestic related incidents caused victim ‘great distress’

Magistrates have heard that a Tattershall man who has served five prison sentences in five years for domestic related offending, sent text messages and made phone calls to his former partner in breach of a restraining order forbidding him to do so.

The scales of justice SUS-170707-092211001
The scales of justice SUS-170707-092211001

James Lee Pennell, 32, of Willows Court, was appearing for sentence at Boston Magistrates’ Court after being convicted of harassment, assault and obstructing police charges in October.

Prosecuting, Paul Wood said there had been a number of non-molestation orders made since Pennell and his former partner had broken up in 2015 and he had been sent to prison a number of times for breaking these orders.

Mr Wood said that between November 12 and December 7 last year, Pennell sent 17 text messages and made four phone calls to her in breach of the latest court orders and his former partner had been caused ‘great distress’ by these which had brought back ‘terrible memories of previous incidents’.

In relation to the assault charge, he said Pennell had known a separate woman - Woman B - for six months prior to April 21 2021 when he went to pick her up in his van.

He said they went to Skegness and parked at Huttoft where Pennell began drinking beer and his behaviour became, according to the victim, ‘increasingly strange’ and he began banging on the walls of the van.

Mr Wood said Woman B told him she wanted to go home but as he was now drunk, she thought it better to stay in the van but he threatened her when she tried to get away.

He said she went to a nearby house for help but Pennell grabbed her and threw her to the ground and a witness said he got on top of her and punched her to the body.

He said police attended but he had gone and they searched for him but he had gone to the police station, where he was arrested but resisted the police officer by pulling away.

Mitigating, Michael Alexander said Pennell did ‘not necessarily agree with everything said’.

He said Pennell had had five prison sentences for what were essentially domestic-related incidents since 2016, and they had had no effect on his offending and he suggested that ‘perhaps a new approach is needed’.

He pointed out that he had not contacted his former partner since these offences.

However, the magistrates said the offences passed the custody threshold and sentenced Pennell to an immediate six-month prison sentence for harassment and a further 14 weeks for the assault on the second victim, to run alongside the other sentence.

He was also ordered to pay Woman B £100 in compensation and two-year restraining orders were made in relation to both injured parties, except contact through solicitors or the Family Court. Pennell stormed out of the courtroom during the sentencing.