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Victim of harassment ‘feared former partner would kill her’

Lincoln Crown Court.
Lincoln Crown Court.

A Gainsborough man who made threats of violence towards his partner after their relationship ended has been jailed.

Matthew Percival left his victim Amber Smith terrified and fearing that he would kill her, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said that after the relationship ended Percival visited Ms Smith’s Lincoln home to collect a coat. While he was at the property he started talking to himself and then began to pick up knives.

Mr Howes said: “Amber Smith said he seemed crazy and angry with the world. She thought he was going to kill her. In the end she rang his sister and his sister took him home.”

Two days afterwards Percival sent Ms Smith a text message threatening to give her a kicking. And later the same month Percival made further threats including a warning that he would chop off Ms Smith’s arm.

The court was told Percival has 32 previous convictions for a total of 58 offences.

Percival, 29, of Burton Street, admitted putting a person in fear of violence by harassment. He was jailed for 18 months and given a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting Amber Smith and from going within 100 metres of her home.

Judge Simon Hirst said: “The best that can be said on your behalf is that there were no physical assaults committed. That said, you made this young lady’s life a misery for three weeks.”

Sunil Khanna, in mitigation, said Percival was upset because he loaned Ms Smith a special bracelet belonging to his mother and wanted it back when the relationship was over.

“He went to speak to her,” he said. “He was asking for the bracelet to be returned but as far as she was concerned it was a gift.

“He accepts his behaviour was extreme and would have been frightening to Ms Smith. He is very sorry for his actions.”

Mr Khanna said the offence happened at a time when Percival had developed a drink problem.