Jail for Worksop stalker who contacted victim within weeks of being sentenced

A Worksop man who contacted his ex-partner within a fortnight of being sentenced for stalking her has been locked up, a court has heard.
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Prosecutor Stuart Lody described Darryl Horn-Hooper as "someone who doesn't appear to understand the word "no"."

He contacted the woman shortly after receiving a 14-month prison sentence, suspended for 21 months, at Nottingham Crown Court in July last year.

Breaching a restraining order to stay away, he sent a series of text messages saying: "Well you proved you really never loved me. I am moving on. You cannot keep playing with my heart. If you really loved me we could work this out and come to some arrangement. See you in court."

Nottingham Crown Court.Nottingham Crown Court.
Nottingham Crown Court.

His victim read out a statement detailing the impact his emotional abuse had on her, which “caused my life to spiral out of control”.

She described fighting a daily battle with depression and struggles to leave the house because “I am always looking over my shoulder”.

“I was phoning crisis lines just to say alive,” she said. “He made me feel dead. I wasn't in control of my own life.”

Horn-Hooper, aged 49, of Princess Anne Road, Worksop, pleaded guilty to harassment – on breach of a restraining order, at Nottingham Magstrates Court, on June 6.

Nottingham Crown Court heard he has previous convictions for harassment in 2004, common assault in 2011, and breaching a non-molestation order in 2015.

Bianca Brasoveanu, mitigating, said a pre-sentence report assessed his risk as “manageable in the community”.

"He has stayed away from offending and not contacted his victim since,” she said. “He has been diagnosed with skin cancer.

"He understands he has done wrong and is willing to pay compensation - although he is currently out of work because of his health issues.”

But on Thursday, Judge Michael Watson said Horn-Hooper denied causing harm, continued to blame his victim and only pleaded guilty on the day of his trial.

He imposed a nine-month jail sentence for the breach. He also activated seven months of the 14-month suspended sentence – which Horn-Hooper has already served while on remand.

"Victims must be able to rely upon the courts to protect them,” he told Horn-Hooper. “This was a blatant breach of an order.”