A BUSINESSMAN who bombarded his ex-partner and her family with unwanted emails and Facebook messages after they broke up has been ordered to leave her alone.
Stephen Peters, of Cobham Grove in Whiteley, began sending the messages to Zara Bampton, who was also his business partner, after their personal relationship broke down.
The 50-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of harassment without violence at Fareham Magistrates’ Court.
Peters has been given a 12-month restraining order preventing him from contacting Miss Bampton, her sister Lucy Gardiner and husband Ken Gardiner as well as Miss Bampton’s mother Molly Shergold.
But he will be allowed to contact Miss Bampton for business purposes through a solicitor, and in a curious twist, also through his ex-wife, who has acted as a go-between for the two.
They had run an online store together and also had money tied up in the Cobham Grove house as well as another property.
Alex Dabson, prosecuting, said: ‘Following the break-up Mr Peters contacted her with a number of emails, even after he was told they were unwanted. He also proceeded to contact her sister and also sent a long letter to her elderly mother.’
In the letters he told her she was ‘paranoid’, worried she would be ‘left alone and unloved,’ and sent her internet links to a site about narcissistic behaviour.
But Peters, who defended himself, claimed he was the victim, as he said was owed £1,200 by Miss Bampton and could lose his home as a result of the relationship ending.
He said: ‘There is an issue about the property that I’m living in as she told my ex-wife that she had found another buyer for it.
‘I’m concerned about her selling the property from underneath me.’
Chairman Ian Allured said ‘We felt that there was an element of planning to this and you involved other people. However, you didn’t at any point send any abusive material or threaten violence.’
He was also ordered to pay a £400 fine, a victim surcharge of £15 plus costs of £85.