Suspended sentence for Warminster man who hounded and assaulted online dating match

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A WARMINSTER man has been sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months after pleading guilty to harassment and assault by beating.

Barry Webb, 52, of Swaledale Road, appeared at North West Wiltshire Magistrates Court on Wednesday where he was issued with the suspended sentence.

In January 2016, Webb assaulted his victim – a 48-year-old woman who he had met on an online dating website. Fortunately, she did not sustain any serious injuries.

When she ended the relationship, Webb continued to bombard her with text messages, followed her while she was driving and even turned up at her home address on two occasions which resulted in police being called and moving him on.

In total Webb contacted his victim 401 times between 3 January 2016 and 20 January 2016, with 255 texts/unsuccessful calls made in just one day.

Det Con Steph Brazier, of the Domestic Abuse Investigation Team (DAIT), said: “Webb’s actions caused his victim to feel frightened in her own home. Despite her desperately trying to end the relationship several times, Webb continued to harass her, even sitting outside her home and blocking her vehicle in with his own motorbike.

“I would like to commend the victim for the bravery she has shown in reporting this to police. This has no doubt been a difficult time for her.

“I hope that this case gives reassurance to the local community and victims of domestic abuse that Wiltshire Police will take all reports extremely seriously and victims will receive specialist support while we do all that we can to ensure justice is done.”

As well as the suspended sentence, the court also imposed a restraining order banning Webb from contacting his victim directly or indirectly. He was also ordered to pay a surcharge to fund victim services of £115 and pay costs of £120 to the Crown Prosecution Service.

An application for a sexual harm prevention order was adjourned until 4 August 2016 to be heard before the District Judge.

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