Restraining order imposed on dad who harassed his estranged wife

A DAD who threatened suicide after his marriage broke up, and sent loving farewell messages to his children, has been issued with a restraining order by magistrates.

Ian Stebbings - who has admitted a charge of harassment - must not contact his estranged wife for the next six months.

“This is a sad tale,” Fenland magistrates were told by prosecutor Nicola Rice.

Stebbings and his wife separated in May, and in July he threatened suicide, sending text messages to his children saying goodbye, and that he loved them, she said.

Later that month he phoned his wife when she was out with a friend, and he was found on his wife’s driveway when police escorted her home. At that time he was given an informal police warning.

In September, Stebbings took tablets in front of a child, said Miss Rice; an ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital.

Stebbings sent a threatening message to his wife in November, accusing her of having an affair. Police gave him a second informal warning and Stebbings was told to stay away from her home.

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Because Stebbings continued to make calls, he was given a formal warning on December 8, and later that day he went to his wife’s home to speak to her about the warning.

“He banged on the door and shouted through the letter box,” said Miss Rice.

Lorry driver Stebbings, formerly of Guyhirn but now living in Church Street, Thorney, admitted harassing his estranged wife on December 8.

“I had not understood the warning so I went to the family home to discuss it,” he said. “I had signed the warning, but not read it.”

Stebbings was ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work and pay �85 costs.