Ottery harasser warned she will be jailed next time

PUBLISHED: 15:09 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:55 18 October 2017

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court.

Archant

Carol Wheeler from Ottery appeared in Exeter Crown Court after admitting harassment.

An Ottery woman who has made the life of her child’s father a misery with unwanted phone calls and texts has been told she will go to jail if she does it again.

Carol Wheeler has been banned from any sort of contact with the father of her child, who has been involved in a long and complicated family court case with her.

She has repeatedly breached a restraining order which forbids any direct or indirect contact and her latest offence has put her at risk of going to jail - as she was already subject to a suspended sentence, imposed for six earlier breaches of the order last year.

Wheeler, aged 44, of Longdogs Close, Ottery St Mary, admitted harassment and was jailed for a further four months, suspended for a year by Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, at Exeter Crown Court.

He told her: “You know what the restraining order requires. You may disagree with it strongly, but it is there and you breached it yet again when you were subject to a suspended sentence.

“You could not complain if I sent you to prison today but because there are substantial gaps between the breaches before and after this offence I am not going to activate the suspended sentence.

“You know the order remains in place until 2019 and the suspended sentences also continue to run. If you breach the order and come back here, you will go to prison.”

Mr Gareth Evans, prosecuting, said the restraining order was imposed in April 2014 but there were a series of breaches which led to a suspended sentence in April 2016.

He said Wheeler sent the father 11 text messages, three calls, and two voicemails between February and April this year.

They did not contain threats but caused the father concern because he was worried she may make further contact with him.

Mr Peter Seigne, defending, asked the Judge to take account of a pre-sentence report which recommended that Wheeler should not be sent straight to jail.

He said she has started to accept the decisions of the Family Court for the first time and her change of attitude means she is less likely to reoffend.

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