Sunderland man threatened to kill ex and new partner in chilling voicemails two years after getting restraining order

A man struck terror into his former partner when he phoned out of the blue and left a chilling mobile message threatening to kill her and her new partner.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 7:00 am

David Ridley, 48, of Perth Road, Plains Farm, Sunderland, struck while drunk and two years after a court had ordered him to stay away from her.

It was one of 12 voice messages he left on Saturday, November 22, and Sunday, November 23, and which were reported to police, a court heard.

In a victim statement, the mum accused Ridley of inflicting physical and emotional abuse during their three-year relationship.

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David Ridley.

And she revealed she still looks over her shoulder in fear he is near – and takes care when posting photographs to ensure they do not reveal her new location.

Ridley has now been jailed for eight weeks, suspended for two years, after magistrates said his offending was so serious it had crossed the custody threshold.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck told magistrates in South Tyneside: “In October 2018 she was granted a restraining order against Mr Ridley.

“On November 23, she contacted police stating that he had left 12 voice messages. She knew his mobile number and she recognised his voice.

“The content of the messages were abusive and caused her alarm and distress.

“The voicemails made threats to kill her and her new partner. She provided police with recordings, and the defendant was duly arrested.

“He was taken to Southwick police station. He admitted being responsible and was remorseful.

“He said that he was drinking and taking tablets, and that he had not intended to carry out the threats and was sorry.”

Chris Wilson, defending, said a significant period of time had passed since the offence without any further incidents and asked for it to be taken ‘in isolation’.

Mr Wilson told the court: “The police didn’t speak to the defendant until February 10, a period in excess of three-and-a-half months.

“In essence, during that period of time there were no threats made and no further contact.

“For a significant period of time, he’s made no contact whatsoever.

“I would ask you to view this breach of the restraining order in isolation.

“At the time, he was in a depressive state and had consumed alcohol on top of medication.

“As a consequence of that he made the erroneous decision to make contact with his ex-partner.

“When interviewed, Mr Ridley fully cooperated with police and fully admitted making the calls and what he said.

“He couldn’t explain why he had made the calls.”

Ridley was given an eight week suspended prison sentence after he admitted harassment by breaching a restraining order.

He was given another week in jail, also suspended and to run concurrently, after he admitted breaching a conditional discharge.

He must carry out 20 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service, and 30 sessions of the Building Better Relationships programme.

Magistrates also extended the restraining order by five years, until March 29, 2026, and he must pay £85 court costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

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