Man jailed after third breach of restraining order

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
6:00 AM

A Newton Poppleford man has been jailed for eight weeks after breaching his restraining order for the third time.

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Ross Downes, 27, of School Lane, hid from police under a bed in his girlfriend’s Lower Brook Meadow home in Sidford on Tuesday after he was reported by her friends.

She requested that the charges be dropped after admitting inviting him over – despite having the restraining order imposed on him for her protection – but magistrates sitting in Exeter applied a custodial sentence for his continued defiance of the court.

Defending, Robert Jacobs said that previous contact by Downes with his partner, referred to in court only as Miss Edgecumbe, had been unwanted, but the latest occasion was different.

“She clearly wanted him to be at the address and was happy for him to be there,” he said in court on Wednesday.

“The only reason the police became involved was because the friends of his partner got them involved. She tried to hide him from the police and discussed how to get [the restraining order] revoked.”

Mr Jacobs said that a letter from Miss Edgecumbe said she wanted the charges dropped and for Downes, who has two children, aged six and two, from a previous relationship, to return home.

Advising the magistrates, court clerk Zoe Joslin said Downes was well aware that he should not have been at the address and it was not his first breach of the order.

Mr Jacobs made a request for bail before an appeal against the sentence at crown court but it was denied.

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