Police caught Sunderland man breaching restraining order with ex-partner hiding under his bed sheets

note-0 A Sunderland man subject to a restraining order against his former partner has been fined after police found her hiding under his bed sheets.

Friday, 27th December 2019, 4:09 pm
Updated Monday, 30th December 2019, 11:26 am

Robert Barker and Susan Wilkinson planned to reignite their romance – despite him being banned from contact after he was jailed for assaulting her last year, a court heard.

But his illicit encounter was brought to a halt when police turned up at his home in The Avenue, Ashbrooke, to arrest him for a different alleged offence.

Magistrates in South Tyneside were told the pair were considering asking a court to revoke the restraining order at the time so they could be reunited.

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Prosecutor Glenda Beck said: “At 11 o’clock in the morning, a police officer was called to attend to arrest Mr Barker for a separate matter.

“While there it was apparent that Susan Wilkinson was also at the address and hiding under the bed covers. She said that they were trying to rekindle their relationship.”

Mrs Beck said a restraining order had been imposed at Newcastle Crown Court on October 11, 2018, against Barker from contacting Ms Wilkinson, either directly or indirectly, except through the defendant’s father.

The order, in place until another order supersedes it, was made due to Barker being imprisoned last year for beating Ms Wilkinson.

Mrs Beck added: “Mr Barker was duly arrested and taken to Southwick police station, where he was interviewed. He was asked about being at the address, to which he made no comment.”

Joanne Gatens, defending, said: “No further action was taken for the other offence that they turned at his home for.

“She said that she was under no duress. I’ve explained to Mr Barker that until the order is revoked then he can’t have any contact with her. This is about as low as you can get in regard of a restraining order.”

Emily Aitken-Fell, chair of the bench, told Barker: “Restraining orders are made for a reason and they are to be complied with. However, the mitigation is where you were and there was no harm caused.”

Barker, who pleaded guilty to breaching a restraining order, was fined £120 and must pay £85 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge.