'Disturbed' Havant menace released back into society after terrifying women he made pregnant

A ‘DISTURBED’ menace who threatened to kill two women he got pregnant in quick succession avoided a prison sentence when he appeared in court.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 2:56 pm
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 5:13 pm

Havant tormentor David Russell, 30, left his petrified girlfriends on tenterhooks with the pair concerned over ‘what he might do’, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.

The defendant, who had been on remand for five months, left the pair in a state of fear after sending what his own barrister described as ‘awful messages’.

Russell’s unhinged behaviour, which included letting himself into the flat of one of the women as a trespasser while her young child was at home, included lashing out after learning of their pregnancies.

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Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Prosecutor Fern Russell told the court how the defendant’s relationship with the first woman turned sour following his deranged antics after she became pregnant.

‘She had to report his behaviour to police,’ the lawyer said. ‘He had entered her flat as a trespasser while her seven-year-old child was at home.’

Three months later Russell was in a relationship with the second woman, who he also impregnated.

In September Russell revealed to the second woman that he had ‘thoughts of killing her and the first woman’.

The court was told Russell sent the women text messages threatening to kill them – highlighting his ‘disturbed thought processes’.

The first woman said in a statement, read out to the court: ‘I’m tired of his behaviour. I just don’t know what he can do.’

She added: ‘He thinks he can just walk into my flat. I just want to be left alone. He wanted me to have an abortion so I don’t understand why he won’t leave me alone (now the baby has been born).’

Meanwhile, the second woman’s statement, read out to the court, said: ‘When he found out I was pregnant he was not happy and wanted me to have an abortion.

‘I’m still anxious about what he will do to himself. His mental health affected our relationship during my pregnancy. I cannot cope with all the issues. He needs help but is not getting the help he needs.’

She added: ‘I don’t want him to be left on his own when our son is born.’

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Defending, Paul Fairley, said the second woman’s view that Russell needed help went to the crux of the issue. ‘She says he needs help for his mental health but is not getting the help he needs,’ he said.

‘They were awful messages to read but appear to have been made when he was struggling with his mental health.’

Russell, of Billy Lawn Avenue, admitted two charges of sending electronic communication to cause anxiety and distress.

Mr Fairley told the court Russell had served the equivalent of a 10-month jail term after being remanded in custody for the offences when arrested by police on September 3.

Judge Roger Hetherington agreed not to extend Russell’s incarceration. He said: ‘There is a long history to this. You were in a disturbed state mentally. They were unpleasant messages where you made threats to kill.

‘But you have already effectively served a 10-month sentence (in jail) and I think the offences can be dealt with by a community order.’

The judge then dished out a 12-month community order with 35 rehabilitation days and imposed a restraining order not to contact the first woman for three years.