Man who breached restraining order is banned from village

Exeter magistrates court. Ref exe 01-17TI 4933. Picture: Terry Ife

Exeter magistrates court. Ref exe 01-17TI 4933. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A father-of-two has been banned from entering Branscombe after he admitted breaching a restraining order.

Christopher Cripps, 34, also pleaded guilty to using violence to secure entry into a premises when he appeared before magistrates sitting in Exeter on Tuesday.

The court heard Cripps, formerly of Lindemann Close, Sidmouth, left his ex-partner ‘petrified’ after calling at a property wanting to see his children. He smashed a wheelbarrow into a door, breaking a panel of glass.

Prosecutor Lindsey Baker said Cripps, who has been living in West Sussex since his arrest, had been handed a restraining order relating to his ex-partner on December 2 last year and was told not to contact her or her parents unless through a solicitor or third party.

Mrs Baker described how, on the evening of January 16, police were called after Cripps turned up at an address in Branscombe and rang the bell before banging on and kicking the door. He then used a wheelbarrow to hit the door, smashing a panel, which caused his ex-partner’s father to be showered in glass, resulting in a cut to his ear. “He kicked with such force the house was described as shaking,” said Mrs Baker. Cripps’ ex-partner said in a statement that she was ‘absolutely petrified’ and ‘hysterical’.

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Stephen Nunn, defending, said Cripps was missing his children and had got ‘down in the dumps’.

A probation officer told the court Cripps was looking to start new employment in Lyme Regis, adding: “He understands what he did was wrong and he was very remorseful and wishes to make amends for his behaviour.”

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Cripps was handed a 14-week custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months, for each offence. He was fined £300, had his restraining order extended by three years, and was told he could not enter Branscombe.

Magistrates told Cripps: “This was a particularly serious offence - the people involved were obviously terrified by the actions that you took.”

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