Man harassed church worker by quoting Bible readings when she ended relationship
A devout Christian has been issued with a restraining order after bombarding his ex with quotes from the Bible.
Allan Austin, from Warrington, left Margaret Kitchen fearing for her safety as he turned up at her home and church unannounced in the hope of rekindling their romance.
The 70-year-old sent her messages including: ‘God bless you Margaret. I am saying a prayer for you tonight. You may be gone from sight but not out of my heart.’
Ten other unwelcome messages referenced the Bible and biblical readings.
Ms Kitchen, who volunteers at a church, had to change her daily routine to avoid her ex.
She even parked her car in different places so she wouldn’t run into Austin, who in 2018 was jailed for eight months after spiking a 27-year-old woman’s drink and secretly filming her getting undressed.
At Warrington Magistrates Court, Austin admitted harassment and was banned from contacting Ms Kitchen for three years.
Michael O’Kane, prosecuting, said the pair had been in a relationship since 2017 and Ms Kitchen stood by him when he was jailed.
But when Ms Kitchen’s daughter Sian visited from New Zealand in 2019, she told her mother she was concerned as she was a similar age to Austin’s victim.
Ms Kitchen then ended the relationship but told Austin they would meet up at a later date.
Austin did not wait and sent her numerous messages, including ten in just one week.
He also posted a letter to Sian asking if she could persuade her mother to rekindle the relationship.
In mitigation, defence lawyer Victoria Frampton said: ‘He is extremely regretful and has understood the impact on the complainant. There is genuine remorse and he has taken steps to address his offending.’
Austin was also fined £300 and ordered to complete a 12-month community order and 20 days of rehab. He was also ordered to pay £234 in costs and a victim surcharge.
‘Clearly this was a persistent course of action,’ District Judge James Clarke told him.
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