Sentence cut for Washington man who harassed ex

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A MAN who harassed his ex-girlfriend by sending an email within hours of being banned from contacting her, has had his sentence cut by judges.

Christopher McGuigan sent Hayley Robson, the mother of his child, a message the day after a court order forbidding him from having any communication with her came into effect.

The 28-year-old, of Birchfield, Fatfield, Washington, was handed a seven-month suspended jail term at Newcastle Crown Court last September, and ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work, after he admitted breaching a non-molestation order.

His sentence has now been replaced with a 12-month community order, and his unpaid work cut to 50 hours, by judges sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, who said his original punishment was “excessive”.

But judges warned him he will find himself back before a court, and will be “treated more harshly”, if he doesn’t do as he is told and stick to the terms of the order.

The court heard McGuigan and Ms Robson had been in a relationship and had a son together, but separated in 2012.

Following the split, he failed to stick to agreed care arrangements over their son and became difficult – sending her emails and turning up drunk at her home on four occasions and being verbally abusive.

A court order was made banning him from contacting her, which came into force in February last year, but he emailed her the very next day.