Mum forced to hide with son, 5, after aggressive ex-partner broke restraining order and shouted abuse at her in kitchen


A mum hid in her neighbour’s garden with her 5-year-old son after her ex-partner broke his restraining order by walking into her kitchen and shouting abuse at her, a court heard.

Jonathan David Fitzgerald, who has now been jailed, entered his ex’s home drunk and was ‘verbally aggressive’ towards her on June 19.

He called her a ‘fat ’s**g’ and ‘low life’ amongst other things, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Once the neighbour realised that the woman and her son were hiding in her garden she tried to help them – and gave the boy ice-cream to try and distract him.

But that boy was later ‘hysterical’ after his mum thought it was safe to return to the house – but they ended up locked inside a bedroom away from Fitzgerald – who had returned to the address.

The court heard that Fitzgerald, of no fixed abode, was making threats from outside the property and said ‘wait until I get there’, the court heard.

He was also damaging things outside the house such as plant pots and threw something at a window.

When the woman went to ring the police from the bedroom she received a call from her brother – but it was Fitzgerald’s voice on the other end of the line, the court heard.

Fitzgerald, 36, didn’t just break a restraining order from this incident – but a non-molestation order too – which was imposed by the family court in Manchester.

He has now been jailed for 10 months at Manchester Crown Court after being convicted at magistrates’ court.

In a statement from the victim, she said that her son is starting to become more settled and is ’thriving’ and that she wishes for the restraining order against Fitzgerald to continue.

Mr Williams, prosecuting, told the court about Fitzgerald’s previous convictions – of which he has 17.

Between 2011 and 2012 he breached court orders six times, the court heard.

Mr Williams said it was a ‘very frightening’ experience for the woman and that it will have had an impact of her son.

Adam Watkins, defending, said that there were three aggravating features.

The defendant’s history with not complying with orders, the presence of a 5-year-old child, and the fact that he returned to the property.

Mr Watkins said that Fitzgerald was ‘highly intoxicated’ and that he was in a highly emotional and even irrational state.

He told the court that the woman said that he had no business being there and that was what triggered his ‘drunken tantrums’ that lasted over an hour.

The court heard that Fitzgerald had written a letter explaining his difficulties with alcohol.

“I need some serious help with my drink and my thought processes,” he said.

He said that he feels ‘lost’ and that he feels for the people who he has hurt through his actions.

Miss Recorder Pierpoint, sentencing, said that the woman had the ’strength’ to end her relationship with Fitzgerald but that he entered her address in the presence of her 5-year-old and shouted abuse at her.

Miss Pierpoint said: “I hope you are deeply ashamed of what you said to her. I’m not even going to repeat it.”

The woman was ‘frightened’, the judge said.

“If you weren’t sure before you’ll be sure now she wants nothing to do with you”.

Alongside a 10 month prison sentence Miss Pierpoint gave Fitzgerald an indefinite retraining order.

She said she appreciates that Fitzgerald admitted that he has a problem with alcohol but that alcohol is not a mitigating factor and instead an aggravating one.

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