Death-threat dad jailed for Christmas after breaching restraining order

JAILED: Michael Pemberton
JAILED: Michael Pemberton
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A MAN who threatened to kill his ex-partner has spent Christmas behind bars.

Michael Pemberton, 31, was banned from contacting his ex-partner under a restraining order, but on December 16, he arrived in her street and threatened to kill her, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Prosecutor Jeanette Smith said he had been handed a suspended prison sentence just a day earlier for breaching the restraining order, by contacting the victim, with whom he had been in a relationship for 11 years.

Ms Smith said the “violent” relationship ended two years ago and said there had been “several incidents” since.

On the latest occasion, Pemberton had gone to the home of the victim’s neighbour in an “extremely agitated and intoxicated” state, shouting he would kill her.

Pemberton, of Goschen Street, Southwick, originally denied breaching the restraining order by harassment, but changed his plea to guilty.

Angus Westgarth, defending, said arrangements had been made so that the three children would stay with Pemberton’s mother over Christmas so that he could see them, and asked the judge not to send him to prison.

District Judge Roger Elsey asked Ms Smith to telephone the victim to ask what her views were.

He said: “I am very concerned that the sentence in this case is an appropriate one that protects your victims. I say victims because children are always victims of domestic violence.”

Ms Smith told the judge: “I have asked about the children staying over the Christmas period and she said that simply wasn’t true. He wasn’t to have access to the children.”

Judge Elsey activated the suspended sentence, of which Pemberton has already served half on remand, and imposed a consecutive 18-week sentence.

“When you breached the restraining order, that breach was clearly part of a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour which has harmed your victim for some eight years,” he said.

“Clearly having offended while on a suspended sentence order only an immediate prison sentence can be justified.”