Troy Ballard, 27, appeared in the dock at Portsmouth Crown Court after his behaviour spiralled out of control – pushing his ex-partner to the brink. ‘I just want it to stop,’ she said.
Previous assaults by Havant-based Ballard on his ex-girlfriend of over three years had sparked her to seek a non-molestation order in April 2019 to prevent him from communicating with her.
People warned not to go to popular beach this weekend unless they have booking
Emergency crews battling to save someone’s life on Southsea seafront
Royal Navy warship based in Portsmouth is due to set sail on a three-year mission to maintain the security in Gulf
Southsea seafront incident: Police update after man found 'unresponsive'
River Ems crisis: Westbourne villagers plead with Portsmouth Water to introduce a hosepipe ban
But Ballard, who has autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), found himself repeatedly falling foul of the order.
On July 11, 2019, the defendant flew into a rage outside Queen Alexandra Hospital after confronting his ex who was visiting her pregnant sister with her two children - one of whom he was the biological father of.
Ballard, of Ramsdale Avenue, warned the woman over her new boyfriend.
He then ‘took off’ with one of the children on his bike before he was found near the hospital and arrested by police.
Prosecutor Kaj Scarsbrook said: ‘The defendant told police he was concerned about the welfare of the children but accepted making contact with his former partner.’
Ballard had denied breaching his non-molestation order but was convicted by a jury at trial in November.
The defendant admitted two other offences after phoning and sending a message to the victim on February 25 last year.
During the conversation he was warned by the woman he was not meant to make contact but kept unleashing abuse.
Ballard made a further six calls. ‘He asked (the victim’s partner) to “back off” and asked him to meet for a fight,’ Mr Scarsbrook said. ‘Threats were also made to damage his car.’
Oliver Wellings, defending, said the offences were carried out by a ‘genuine’ desire to offer ‘protection’ to the children, but conceded he was ‘misguided’ in his approach.
Judge William Ashworth said: ‘There has been long-term persistent abuse (against the victim). She will feel that if the court can’t protect her because you won’t obey then there’s nothing she can do.
‘She is living with the spectre of fear over her shoulder. You can’t control her or her relationship – but you can control yourself.’
The judge went to admit he had a difficult decision over whether to take Ballard ‘out of circulation’ by jailing him or allowing him to keep his freedom. ‘It is difficult because of your previous offences and people will criticise me on behalf of the victim (if jail is not imposed),’ he said.
But the defendant’s guilty pleas spared another trial – tipping the balance in his favour. ‘Much against my better judgement I’m going to suspend the sentence,’ judge Ashworth said.
Ballard was then handed a nine-month prison term suspended for two years and told to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and to complete 25 rehabilitation days.
He was also given an indefinite restraining order not to contact the victim and will have to attend a program helping him to build better relationships.