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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Barrow man’s ‘hurtful’ texts to his mother-in-law

A FATHER-OF-TWO sobbed silently as a court heard how he harassed his wife’s mother and grandmother.

Carl Minnican waited less than two weeks after a restraining order against his wife’s mother expired before he sent her more than 100 texts.

The 28-year-old, of Longway, Barrow, pleaded guilty to two charges of harassment against Karen Lumby and her mother, Edith Benson, at Furness Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Mr John Appleby, prosecuting, told the court Minnican’s wife had been expecting their second child when the events unfolded between July 22 and 28.

Mrs Lumby received a text from her daughter’s phone saying she had given birth. But after replying to congratulate her, she started receiving what was described to the court as “hurtful and derogatory” messages which accused her of favouring other family members, among other allegations. She was sent around 100 in total, causing her distress and upset.

The court heard relationships between the couple and Mrs Lumby had been “quite strained”for some time and the victim suspected Minnican was behind the messages. She found the same texts had been sent to her mother, who also claimed the defendant had rung her screaming and shouting down the phone.

It later emerged the defendant’s wife had not given birth.

Mr Appleby said: “He just doesn’t get on with his partner’s mother and he was aware of the previous restraining order that expired on July 10.

“He said there had been further difficulties but he knew that he shouldn’t be sending them as they’d likely be viewed as harassing and his wife had actually told him not to send the messages.”

Mr Andrew Gallagher, defending, said Minnican had originally sent the texts in the hope of putting the past behind them.

He said: “Mr Minnican accepts the tone of his messages has deteriorated.”

Minnican was sentenced to 60 days imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay £165 in costs.

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