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Man stalked ex girlfriend while on bail
A MAN repeatedly terrorised his former girlfriend and held a claw hammer to her face while he was on bail for assaulting her.
Andre Berley was released after attacking Kelly Nicholls while he waited to go on trial, but he went on the run and entered her Littlemore home four times to threaten her.
The 25-year-old even told his terrified ex he had made a DVD explaining to their four-year-old daughter why he had killed her mum.
Thames Valley Police said they were called after Berley’s first visit, but Miss Nicholls did not make a complaint and would not agree to protection measures.
A spokesman added that when the full details of what had happened were reported they launched a city-wide manhunt for the fugitive.
At Oxford Crown Court, Judge Mary Jane Mowat was told how the father-of-three twice entered through an open window brandishing a claw hammer.
Holding the weapon close to her face on October 31 last year, he told his ex-partner of four years: “I’m going to smash you in so bad no one will recognise you.”
On the same occasion Berley said he would harm members of her family and moved the hammer towards her face.
After a trial at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on December 7 last year, Berley was convicted of a 30-minute assault on Miss Nicholls in July.
Berley, also of Sandy Lane, Littlemore, was given six-months for the assault and has now been handed eight months after admitting aggravated harassment.
Anji Hall, trustee of the Eve Women’s Wellbeing Project, said: “For these men it is a cycle of behaviour. They should be remanded in custody the minute there is good evidence against them.”
Ben Newton, defending, said Berley had been struggling with crack cocaine and heroin addiction.
Detective Sergeant Brendan Murray, of Thames Valley Police protecting vulnerable people team, said: “I would say the level of support offered to Miss Nicholls was appropriate to the level of risk.
“If you want us to help you, you have to tell us about these things, otherwise there is very little that we can do.”