Hartlepool man bombarded shop landlord and ex partner with abusive calls and texts

Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court

A man who bombarded two people with abusive phone calls and text messages has been spared jail.

David Peterson, 47, harassed the landlord of a shop after he gave it to another tenant.

He also hounded an ex-partner calling her vile names, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh described how Peterson made scores of calls and texts to the landlord over nine days last year after losing out on a shop for rent in Raby Road, Hartlepool.

Peterson answered an advert but became upset when the landlord gave it to someone else after Peterson failed to come up with the £200 deposit.

Ms Haigh said Peterson claimed the man owed him money after he shelled out for things like signs expecting to get the shop.

She said he rang the landlord “in abusive and threatening phone calls. He said ‘you owe me money’. He said he owed him £190 because he had paid out in anticipation. He made 18 calls in one day.”

Peterson also bombarded an ex partner after many years of being apart.

Ms Haigh added: “There were a number of text messages that were extremely abusive in nature and also of a sexual nature.

“He threatened to punch her in the face and threatened to get his wife to get her.”

In a victim impact statement the woman told how the incident meant she did not sleep properly and felt unsafe in her own home.

Ms Haigh added: “She says she was sick and mortified he could say such things and it has affected her life.”

Peterson, of Tankerville Street, Hartlepool, admitted two counts of putting a person in fear of violence by harassment.

Andrew Turton, mitigating, said Peterson now acknowledged the seriousness of his behaviour and said there were reasons behind it.

The court was told Peterson was undergoing treatment for cancer.

Mr Turton added: “He has previously attended anger management classes in order to deal with emotional issues. He indicates to me he is willing to address his shortcomings that led to these incidents.”

Peterson was given nine months prison suspended for two years and slapped with indefinite restraining orders against the two victims.

Judge Tony Briggs said: “This particular behaviour was not excusable in any way and I have no doubt for those on the receiving end, frightening and distressing.”