WEDDING photographer Clayton Bennett has been banned from going near his wife’s ex after a public row over their love triangle.
The 50-year-old cameraman previously put himself in the spotlight for allegedly ruining the big day of many couples with poor coverage of their ceremonies.
Now his own private life has been put in focus after he was given an indefinite restraining order at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court, to stop him approaching or contacting Mark Fry.
If it is breached, Bennett, of Cedar Terrace, Fence Houses, could face up to five years in prison.
Mr Fry had been married to Rose-Ellen Forster for nine months when she struck up a relationship with Bennett – who had covered the couple’s wedding ceremony.
As he was sentenced for using threatening behaviour at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court, Bennett claimed he was trying to protect his partner from Mr Fry.
He said: “My pregnant wife was there, I did feel responsible for her safety, I still do. If there’s any grudge to be held, the grudge is not with me.
“It seems it is held by him because my wife left him to marry me.”
After the restraining order was made, he told the court: “I have no problem with seeing Mr Fry again.”
At a hearing earlier this week, Bennett pleaded guilty regarding the incident, in Peterlee town centre, on December 5.
District Judge Leo Pyle was told the disturbance happened as Bennett and his wife, who now have a six-week-old baby, came across Mr Fry, his new partner Amanda Carr and her four-year-old daughter.
Bennett pushed him up against a shop front and repeatedly egged on Mr Fry to hit him, with Ms Carr twice stepping in to defuse the situation.
Despite admitting the charge, Bennett said any altercations between the two men had been at Mr Fry’s “behest”, and catalogued a series of incidents involving his wife and Mr Fry’s ex.
District Judge Pyle told Bennett: “If you see him in the street, you cross the road, simple.
“Don’t have any contact or communicate with him. If so, you will put yourself at risk of being prosecuted for a separate offence.”
The court heard Bennett is now unemployed and is being supported by his wife, a publican.
He was previously warned about his behaviour towards Mr Fry before the December confrontation.
He was also sentenced to a 12-month community order, 80 hours of unpaid work and told to pay £250 towards court costs.