Jail time for Warrnambool serial texter

TEXTING his former partner 560 times in 22 days to inquire about their relationship status has led to a Warrnambool man being jailed for four months.

Patrick Gavin, 43, of Hopetoun Road, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday to persistent breaches of intervention orders, breaching an intervention order, wilful damage, breaching bail and committing an offence on bail.

He was jailed for four months with another three months suspended for 18 months.

Magistrate John Lesser said psychological damage was caused to the woman, who was bombarded by the text messages when an intervention order was in place.

He said Gavin had persistently ignored a court order but his extensive prior convictions did not involve similar offending. “When relationships end they should end in a more civilised way than this,” Mr Lesser said.

The victim intervened in the court hearing and said she had been assaulted by Gavin three times in 12 months and a suspended sentence, which was activated and included in the penalty, was put in place after she was bashed.

“The whole relationship was volatile,” she said.

Defence counsel Alex McCulloch said his client was involved in ongoing discussions with his former partner about their relationship, although he admitted those talks got out of hand.

Police said that soon after the relationship started an intervention order banning violence or damage was put in place in February last year.

On January 20 this year Gavin and the woman were at her home when they argued. She got him out of her house but in attempting to get back in Gavin caused $88 damage to the surrounds of a door.

On January 24 this year a full intervention order was put in place preventing all contact. 

In the next 22 days, Gavin sent the woman 560 text messages and some voice messages about the failed relationship — the frequency ranging from one to about 100 a day. The woman replied about 70 times.

When police became involved Gavin freely admitted to contacting the woman to ask about their relationship and said he had received 1200 text messages from her, but he declined to provide police the PIN to his phone so they could verify that claim.

In about a month between mid-February and mid-March the victim received another 198 text messages. She responded four times to tell Gavin that he was breaching the intervention order and that he was two-faced and unpredictable.

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