Man nicknamed "Animal" jailed for 15 months for assault - St Albans

21/11/2013

A man nicknamed 'Animal' trashed his victim's home in Potters Bar after she said she did not want him staying there any more.

Obsessed , James Worton, 33, broke into Claire Jessop's home in Chase Avenue and ransacked it, St Albans Crown Court heard today, Thursday,  21 November 2013.

He damaged light fittings, CDs, a TV and photographs. He put her toiletries into the toilet and poured bleach on her sofa. Worton took clothes out of drawers, cut them up and put them back. Most upsettingly for the victim he cut the eyes out of a photograph of her son and her former partner before putting it back on the wall.

Prosecutor Claudette Elliott said, Ms Jessop was concerned that Worton was becoming "obsessive and controlling" and she no longer wanted him to stay at her home. She said she was not in a relationship with Worton, but they had been on a few dates.

At around 11pm on 11 August  this year, he was drinking in the Cavalier Pub in Russell Lane, East Barnet, when she turned up with his bag. He came out of the pub and threw beer over her.

She went to use her mobile phone, but he pulled it from her and smashed it on the ground. He  started calling her abusive names then started choking her, and threw her car keys down the road  while still shouting abuse at her.

The next day Worton called at her mother's home in Elizabeth Court, Denham Road, Whetstone saying: "If I don't get my stuff. I am going to do your house." Worton then went onto Ms Jessop's home, where he caused £3,000 damage, said Ms Elliott.

Worton, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to assault by beating, criminal damage and burglary. He appeared in court via a video link from Bedford prison.

Sally Jackson, defending, said, the ransacking of Ms Jessop's home was not planned and occurred as a result of a relationship breakdown. "The defendant said he was in a relationship. He was upset and angry at the break down." She said he now wanted help and guidance and intended to move away from the area to his father's address at Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire. "He has no intention of seeing the complainant again," she said.

Judge Andrew Bright QC said his behaviour was "obsessive and terrifying" and left his victim "traumatised."  He sentenced him to 15 months.

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