Man turned up at pub wearing a dress to woo his ex

South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

A lovelorn man put on a dress and turned up at a city centre pub in a bid to woo his former partner.

John Birch, who had previously been ejected from the William Jameson in Fawcett Street, Sunderland, for being drunk, was carrying a large sign which read: “love you, remember Bam Bam”, South Northumbria Magstrates’ Court heard.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson told the court the bizarre dress incident was part of a campaign of harassment following a relationship with the woman.

Mr Anderson said: “His heavy drinking was always a large feature of that relationship.

“There came a time when she decided she had had enough.

“She ended it, but told the defendant they could remain friends.”

The court was told she agreed to meet Birch outside the Roker United Reformed Church in Side Cliff Road, Roker.

Mr Anderson said: “The defendant became agitated, tried to grab her before snatching her dog lead and running off.

“In the ensuing days there was a series of texts and phone calls.

“Birch entered the William Jameson pub while she was in, and he was put out after shouting and swearing at her. She was in the pub with friends again the next day.

“Birch, bizarrely, turned up wearing a dress and carrying a large cardboard ‘love you’ sign.

“The police were contacted after she received yet more texts, this time from a mobile the defendant had borrowed from a friend.

“The victim says Birch’s conduct has caused her huge upset, impacting on her life and that of her friends.

“She says it has hampered her in her community work.”

Birch, 49, of Solar House, Sunderland city centre, admitted harassment and stalking between February 10 and 27.

Ruth Foster, defending, said: “This course of conduct was not vindictive or nasty in any way, Mr Birch just could not accept the relationship was over.

“In the cold light of day, he accepts it is over.

“He has been to Wear Recovery to get help with his drinking, and he has embarked on a new relationship with a lady who lives across the hallway from him.”

Birch was sentenced to a community order of 24 months, including 35 days of rehabilitation activity, and he was ordered to pay £220 in fines and costs. The bench made Birch the subject of a restraining order permanently banning him from contacting Deborah Doyle, and banning him from visiting the street she lives in and from visiting the Roker United Reformed Church.