A STALKER who tried to set fire to a pub cried in the dock as he was spared jail.
Thomas Campbell was hauled before the court after he was charged with stalking his ex-partner using messages, calls and attempting to set fire to her place of work.
The defendant, of Longlands View in Kendal, was told he was at a ‘crossroads’ in his life as his jail sentence for the ‘disgusting’ offence was suspended by magistrates.
The 42-year-old was also made subject of a restraining banning him from any contact with his former girlfriend and her new partner for three years.
South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court was told that Campbell – previously jailed for attacking the woman with an axe – had engaged in a stalking campaign against his ex following his release from prison.
He admitted that he stalked her in Kendal between September 1 and December 13.
Prosecutor Lee Dacre told magistrates that on one occasion he had squirted lighter fluid through the letter box of the Duke of Cumberland pub in Appleby Road, where she worked, in an attempt to set it alight.
He was also said to have turned up at the home of his ex as well as her new partner’s.
The court was also told that Campbell had threatened to bite off the nose of the woman’s partner.
Mr Dacre said the victim had been shocked to bump into Campbell after his release from prison and ‘couldn’t believe he was allowed back to Kendal’.
Representing the defendant, Andy Gallagher said Campbell could not recall many of the incidents and had resorted to drink excessively recently.
Sentencing the defendant to 24 weeks in prison suspended for a year, chair of the bench Charles Crewdson said: “You sit at a crossroads.
“Many things are now in your gift about which route you take.
“What you did is nothing short of disgusting.
“You do stupid things when you’re drunk – you need to remove drink from your life.”
Upon hearing his sentence, Campbell told the bench: “Thank you for giving me this chance.”
The court also ordered Campbell to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work, 20 days of rehabilitation requirement and a building better relationships course.
Under the terms of the restraining order, he is prohibited from entering Milnthorpe Road, Vicars Hill, Vicars Walk, Anchorite Road, Vicars Garth, Vicars Field, Vicarage Drive and Glebe Road.