'I'm glad I spoke out', says victim of harassment from ex-partner

Richard Dade

Richard Dade who has pleaded guilty to assaulting and harassing his former partner. - Credit: Archant

A woman subjected to a ‘relentless’ campaign of harassment has spoken of her relief after her former partner was given a suspended prison sentence and two-year restraining order.

Richard Dade, 52, of Jerningham Road, in Costessey, was jailed for 16 weeks suspended for two years after admitting bombarding her with emails, texts and messages after the break-up of their nine month relationship. 

Norwich Magistrates Court heard he had sent up to 80 messages a day some of which were threatening.

Dade, who previously lived in Attleborough, also pleaded guilty to assault her in a dispute on June 26 last year. He also admitted smashing her phone.

Prosecuting Hannah Butler told the court it followed Dade accusing her of “not wanting him”.

The court heard his harassment had continued despite him being warned twice by police and had caused her to change locks and install CCTV.

“She feels that he is obsessive and she fears she is a dangerous man when told no,” she added.

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Speaking after the sentencing the woman, who preferred not to be named, said his actions had a huge impact on the lives of both her and her daughter, but she was glad she had pursued his prosecution. 

“It’s not an easy thing to go through with and a lot of women would probably drop it,” she said. “I don’t think he ever took it seriously. He was relentless and bombarded me with hundreds of messages.

“I’m pleased he has finally been punished for his actions. He has a prison sentence hanging over him and hopefully now understands the consequences. 

“I don’t think anyone had ever stood up to him before. Hopefully he will stay away now and won’t do it to any other women.”

Ralph Gillam, mitigating, said Dade had been going through a “difficult period in his life” including drinking heavily following the death of his sister as the result of Covid.

He added: “The messages were not threatening in nature and were not abusive. Many of them say 'I love you, can we meet up?' 

“Effectively they are indicative of someone who cannot come to terms with a break-up.”

Imposing a 24-month restraining order, magistrates also ordered he complete a community order, rehabilitation requirement and alcohol treatment and pay compensation and costs totalling £1,373.