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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Millom man jailed for harassing own mum for food and money

A MAN who made his mum’s life a misery by harassing her for food and money has been jailed.

Richard James Atkinson was yesterday sentenced to 60 days in prison. He harassed Yvonne Atkinson between June 11 and 19.

The 27-year-old had already served a six-month restraining order following a previous conviction for harassing his mum at her Millom home. The order expired on June 5 and he breached it on one occasion.

Mrs Lisa Hine, prosecuting, told Furness Magistrates’ Court Mrs Atkinson had since helped her son get settled in private, rented accommodation in Millom, but he had then made more unwanted contact.

Mrs Hine said he knocked on her window and asked for money on June 12 and 13 – and again on June 14 and 15 for money and food, refusing to leave despite her saying no. The police became involved and Atkinson was arrested.

The court heard his visits were unannounced and was read a victim impact statement which said Mrs Atkinson feels uncomfortable to leave home and limits herself to shops where she knows he won’t be.

The court was also told she tries to ensure she is with someone when she leaves the house, in order to not let her give into her son’s demands if he approaches her.

The statement said he doesn’t leave and “carries on in the street”, causing an “embarrassing spectacle” in front of neighbours.

Reading the statement, Mrs Hine said Mrs Atkinson has not gone to the doctor on this occasion, but in the past his actions have caused her to seek medical help and she has been prescribed medication for depression.

Sean Harkin, defending, said his client has mental health problems and added: “He very much denies asking for money but fully accepts attending her house. There are no signs of distress caused to the complainant that would be obvious to him.

“He has a mental health condition for which he receives counselling on a fortnightly basis and, due to his own problems, he wouldn’t fully understand the impact this has had on his mother.”

Atkinson, of Lord Street, Millom, admitted harassment without violence.

District judge Gerald Chalk said: “It’s a repeat offence on a repeat victim.”

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