Police caught a man hiding in his partner’s loft in breach of a restraining order.

Leslie Williams, 39, was handed the restraining order by Oxford magistrates in March banning him from contacting the woman.

Despite that ban, within days he was swapping apparently innocuous messages with the woman, Oxford Crown Court heard.

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On April 23, police were told by staff at his bail hostel in Reading that he was not there.

The officers visited Williams’ partner’s home in Bowyer Road, Abingdon. When they arrived there was a light on in the downstairs front room but no answer when they knocked. One of the constables asked Williams’ partner to open the door or they would ‘put it in’.

The door remained shut and a battering ram was used by the officers to ‘bash their way in’, prosecutor Jonathan Stone said.

All the rooms in the house were empty but Williams was found hiding in the bedroom loft.

Patricia Lloyd, mitigating, the defendant was described as a ‘man with demons that he’s doing his best to deal with’. He had struggled with alcoholism in the past.

He was still in a relationship with his victim. She was described as supportive of him and had written a letter to the judge.

Williams, of Southcote Road, Reading, admitted breaching a restraining order. He was in breach of an earlier community order imposed in March for battery, possession of a bladed article and criminal damage.

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Jailing him for 24 weeks, Judge Nigel Daly said: “You are described as a man with demons. I think that is probably right.

“It seems that you are trying to do something about that.

“I have read the letter that has been sent to me.

“The difficulty with this is that restraining orders are orders of the court and then you breached them. it is not just a question of what you did.

“It may well be your partner was not necessarily troubled with a lot of this but nonetheless these are breaches of order of the court.

“It is quite clear you have not been doing what you are required to do by the court.”

The restraining order remains in place, although the court was told that Williams’ partner planned to return to the magistrates to seek a variation to the order.

Breach of a restraining order carries a maximum sentence of five years when the case is dealt with at the crown court. Sentences can vary significantly depending on the seriousness of the breach.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward