Man, 56, given restraining order

A SCARBOROUGH man who wrote letters and songs for a local woman has been convicted of harassment for the second time within a month.

Scarborough Magistrates’ Court heard that on January 7, a restraining order had been imposed on George Eves, 56, of St. Mary’s Walk, which banned him from entering the street where the woman lived.

However, while he did not technically breach the restraining order, he stood at the end of her road on January 9 and January 14.

On January 15, Eves, a former fisherman, admitted his behaviour amounted to harassment.

Michael Blackwood, prosecuting, explained that the complainant, who sold homemade produce from outside her home through an ‘honesty box’ system, contacted police in October last year to report Eves.

He said: “The defendant began leaving notes and songs he had written, some of which were unpleasant. He also left a picture of a witch making jam.

“A restraining order was put in place but it was flawed as there was not an appreciation of the geography. He continued to attend a short distance from her home, in plain view, causing distress.”

The court heard that Eves first saw his victim in Tesco, and believing they had made eye contact, began to approach the woman.

In a statement from the victim, which was read to the court, she said: “I began to see him often and had to change my habits. I could no longer sit in my car and read or stand at the cliff top watching my son.

“He started leaving letters and I was distressed by what they were saying. I felt uneasy and at risk. It was affecting my quality of life.”

Caroline Wyatt, mitigating, said her client had now accepted that he would not become friends with the woman.

She said: “I would like to stress that he did not breach the restraining order. But he ought to have known he was likely to cause harassment or distress.

“My client has had a tragic life. When he was 10 years old his mother left and he was brought up by his grandmother.

“His father then died when he was 20 and he had to identify the body. He and his wife had a successful seafood business, but as a result of the marriage breakdown he suffered a mental breakdown.

“He was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in 2009 and his mother and sister died in 2010.”

Miss Wyatt added that the period her client had spent in custody since his conviction had been “terrifying”.

“He has mental health concerns,” she said. “However talking to people while he was in jail has helped.

“He doesn’t know how to communicate and talking and counselling is what he needs.

“My client made no threats of violence and I would submit that he is no threat to her. He should be able to work with the probation service to help himself get better.”

Magistrates handed Eves a 24-month community order, with a 12-month supervision requirement.

A new restraining order was also imposed, banning Eves from entering a larger area, which will remain in force until further notice. He was also told to pay £85 in costs.