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Man gets a suspended prison sentence after he twice breached a restraining order

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A man has narrowly been spared from custody after he twice breached a restraining order in his efforts to secure child contact.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Thursday, April 19, how Matthew David Roberts, 28, of No Fixed Abode, admitted contacting his ex in February and attending her address at Marehay, in Ripley, in April, which he was prohibited from doing by a restraining order.

Defence solicitor Chris Hallas told the hearing that Roberts had been struggling to fulfil his role as a parent to the former couple’s young child.

He said: “To quote my client he is a man suffering for wanting to be a dad.

“The bottom line is that he has been in contact with his ex in an effort to facilitate contact with his son.

“He has to understand there are ways and means of doing that and one way he shouldn’t do it is by breaching a court order.”

Roberts pleaded guilty to the two breaches of the restraining order from February and April after he was caught in the back garden having a discussion and there were text messages sent of an unsavoury nature, according to Mr Hallas.

Magistrates, who considered a probation report, sentenced Roberts to eight weeks of custody suspended for 18 months with a Building Better Relationships programme and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

They also extended Roberts restraining order so he cannot contact his ex until January 25, 2020, except via social care or an agreed third party for child contact.

Roberts must also pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.