Pensioner handed restraining order after trying to ‘rekindle’ Salvation Army friendship

A PENSIONER has been given a restraining order after trying to ‘rekindle’ a friendship with a woman who attended the Salvation Army.

Robert Crutchley, known as Bob, was acquitted of two charges of harassment that he denied after magistrates dismissed the allegations at the prosecution’s request.

But the 70-year-old was given an 18-month restraining order banning him from contacting her or from going to any Salvation Army events organised by the Albert Road branch.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard Crutchley had started off at the branch and gone for dinner and coffee with the woman, 41.

When she stopped all contact he then decided to send her a raft of letters, a birthday card, text messages and a gift between June 1 and August 21, the court heard.

Prosecutor Alicia Keen said: ‘There’s about 13 letters including a birthday card, one of which has a gift with it as well.

‘That’s over the period of the offence.

‘None of which were responded to by the aggrieved, there’s also about eight text messages in a similar period as well.’

She said: ‘The tone is: ‘You’re not replying to me, how could you do that? We’re supposed to be friends”.

‘There’s no indication throughout that she wants to be that close to him.

‘It goes on and on despite the fact he’s not getting responses.’

She added: ‘Bob was new into that church and so started to make friends but wanted a considerably closer friendship than it appears she wanted.’

Crutchley, of Festing Grove, Southsea, accepted sending letters, texts and gifts and he now accepted they were unwanted or unwelcome.

Rhys Evans, for Crutchley, said: ‘He is a gentleman who attends his local Salvation Army, this is how he met the aggrieved.

‘They became good friends, went to dinner together, had coffee together, met her family, then all of a sudden the contact between them rather stopped.

‘He then embarked on a course of conduct of trying to rekindle that relationship.’

Warning Crutchley not to breach the restraining order, chairman of the magistrates’ bench Nick Wells said: ‘You could be sent to prison.’

The order bans him from going to Albert Road near the Salvation Army branch the Lighthouse Cafe and a certain section of St Ronan’s Road, Southsea, in an effort to protect the complainant.

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