Man in court over social media posts

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A man ended up in court after sending his former partner a birthday card, and putting posts about her on Facebook.

Paul Bowker, a 38-year-old building loads manager, of Nutter Road, Cleveleys, pleaded guilty to breaching a restraining order and a non-molestation order.

We feel these were intentional offences and you caused emotional distress and upset to the complainant

Presiding magistrate, Denise Jones, told him: “We feel these were intentional offences and you caused emotional distress and upset to the complainant.”

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said in June magistrates put Bowker on a restraining order which banned him from communicating with his ex except through a third party to arrange child contact or through the Mediation Service.

In July a family court made him the subject of a non-molestation order which prohibited him from entering Bancroft Avenue, Thornton, and the Poulton Chippy, and from posting any information about his ex or their child via Facebook or other social media.

Bowker had a previous conviction for breaking each order.

On August 10 he sent his ex a birthday card wishing her happy birthday from their one-year-old son.

Between August 7 and 23 he posted comments on his Facebook page referring to his ex and his son. One read: “Hope his mum is happy with the upset she caused.”

Gerry Coyle, defending, told the court: “He stands before the court a broken man. He has an 18-month-old son and contact has been denied with him for the last three months, which is something that cuts him up immeasurably.”

The defence added that Bowker, who had an alcohol problem, had been stupid having a conversation on Facebook with a teenage relative about his ex and son.

Bowker was sentenced to a 12-month community order with up to 25 days’ rehabilitation to be supervised by the Probation Service, put on an eight-week curfew and ordered to pay £100 compensation with £85 costs plus £85 victims’ surcharge.

Blackpool magistrates also put Bowker on an indefinite restraining order not to communicate with his ex or enter certain areas of Thornton, Cleveleys or Poulton and not to put posts about his ex on social media.