Man harassed woman and sent her a sex toy

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

An old school friend who pestered a woman with unwanted electronic messages and sent her flowers and a sex toy has been given a restraining order.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard how Thomas Horton, 28, of Dahlia Avenue, South Normanton, Alfreton, had wanted more than just friendship.

Defence solicitor Sarah-Kate McIntyre said: “They met at school and went to different universities and she was in a relationship and they continued contact and would regularly stay at each other’s homes in separate beds and rooms but he wanted more.”

Ms McIntyre added he sent her flowers and a vibrator.

She said: “He sent her a vibrator which is an odd gift but the complainant accepts talking about vibrators in the past. The gift was meant as a joke and he accepts it was not that funny.”

Horton pleaded guilty to harassment by contacting the complainant by electronic messages and the misuse of computer systems between September, 2013, and July, 2015, which Ms McIntyre claimed were non-threatening.

Ms McInytre said: “He was going through a difficult time and they were the pleas of a lonely man missing his old friend.”

She added he was acting out of character, was suffering with depression and lost his job as an accountant as a result of the offence.

Ms McIntyre added: “The proceedings have had a devastating impact on him and his family life but his fiancee had stood by him.”

Magistrates sentenced Horton to a 12 month conditional discharge and a three-year restraining order. He must also pay £200 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.