Violent pest jailed for breaching restraining order by sending Facebook emojis to ex

A violent pest has been put behind bars for sending Facebook thumbs-up emojis to an ex he was banned from contacting.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 5:12 pm

Tony Rackstraw was jailed for 21 months in September last year for attacking his former partner at her home when he found out she was in a new relationship.

The 36-year-old, formerly from Sunderland, had sent a series of texts before he turned up at the house, where he forced his way in and assaulted the woman.

Rackstraw had threated he would "stab up" the victim and her new partner, who was also there, during the terrifying confrontation.

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Tony Rackshaw.

At Newcastle Crown Court, Rackstraw was given a restraining order to keep him away from the victim.

But Prosecutor Tom Mitchell told the court: "Following his release he didn't honour that order.

"At 5.43am on January 31, 2021, the defendant sent a Facebook message with a thumbs-up emoji.

"He did the same again at 10.42pm on Saturday, February 6, 2021."

The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.

The court heard the victim said in an impact statement she is "frightened of Tony" and was left feeling anxious by the emojis.

She added: "I am very worried things will escalate again.

"I fell on edge and anxious all the time."

Nick Peacock, defending, said Rackstraw "couldn't cope" with the relationship breakdown and suffers hardship in prison due to being a double leg amputee.

Mr Peackcock added: "He doesn't leave his cell all day."

Mr Recorder Sam Green QC sentenced Rackstraw to ten weeks behind bars.

The judge skid: "Your behaviour was found by her to be frightening and pestering."

Rackstraw, now of Aycliffe Crescent, Springwell, Gateshead, admitted two breaches of the restraining order.

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