A MAN has been sent to prison after pleading guilty to breaching the terms of a restraining order.

Nigel Leech, 55, of Station Road, Bangor-on-Dee, had been given a 26 week prison sentence suspended for two years after he admitted assaulting his wife Lesley in August last year.

He was also subject to a two year restraining order.

However Rhian Jackson, prosecuting, told Wrexham Magistrates Court that Leech had continually breached the terms of that order between March and July by sending messages to two of the couple's three children asking about their mother and what she was doing.

Ms Jackson said Leech's behaviour had caused his wife, with whom he had been in a relationship for more than 30 years, to suffer from anxiety and to live in fear and she now slept with a panic alarm next to the bed.

Ms Jackson said in a message sent to one of his children, Leech had said how he hoped a firework would hit Mrs Leech in the face and in other messages he made threats about him knowing what she was doing and who she was with.

Ms Jackson added Mrs Leech, who works in the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, felt like her independence had been taken away and that she even needed a colleague to escort to her car at the end of a shift.

Stephen Edwards, defending, said Leech fully accepted the messages sent to his children would likely cause Mrs Leech distress but that he would never hurt her and still had feelings of considerable affection for her.

Mr Edwards said Leech had found it difficult to accept the relationship was over and had put himself at risk of breaching the terms of the order and ending up in prison.

Mr Edwards told District Judge Gwyn Jones that activating the suspended prison sentence would be unjust in this case as Leech had fully co-operated with the Probation Service and completed 180 hours of unpaid work ahead of schedule.

After considering his verdict Mr Jones disagreed with the suggestion put forward by Mr Edwards and told Leech his behaviour demonstrated a continued violation of trust to both Mrs Leech and the court itself.

He said: "There is a continual threat to the wellbeing of the victim who continues to have a lasting trauma.

"There has been a clear and persistent breach of the restraining order which has also involved other family members."

Mr Jones gave credit to Leech for his early guilty plea and for complying with the Probation Service as he activated 14 weeks of the 26 weeks suspended prison sentence, but he gave him an additional 18 week sentence for the breach itself, which will run consecutively, meaning a total sentence of 32 weeks.

Mr Jones also handed Leech a new six year restraining order, which states he is not to contact Mrs Leech by any means possible, other than through a solicitor, and restricts him attending Wrexham Maelor Hospital, unless he is being treating there himself, or accompanying a family member there for the same purpose.