A VIOLENT partner has been banned from seeing his ex-girlfriend after he kicked down a door at her home during a furious argument.
Garry Fitzgerald was arrested by police as he shouted abuse at his ex and her new man in front of a terrified five-year-old child.
He lost his temper during a visit to his former partner Jacqueline Lee’s home in Ilfracombe when he was looking after their five-year-old daughter for the day.
Fitzgerald, aged 26, of Oxford Grove, Ilfracombe, was banned from contacting Miss Lee or going to her flat in Adelaide Terrace by Magistrates in Barnstaple last month and appealed to Exeter Crown Court.
In the original case he denied criminal damage to a door, but was found guilty and made subject to a community order and two year restraining order.
His appeal was rejected by Recorder Mr Gordon Bebb, QC, sitting with two magistrates, after they heard how Fitzgerald became violent during an access visit in August last year.
The recorder said: "There was a heated and very abusive argument and at one stage the child was between Miss Lee and Fitzgerald.
“The complainant was so scared she locked herself in a room with her daughter and it appears he was out of control and broke open the door. It only ended when his daughter said she did not want to leave with him.
“The abusive and intimidating behaviour continued outside, directed towards the complainant’s new partner. This must have been very frightening indeed for Miss Lee and the child.
“We have read an impact statement which speaks of Fitzgerald’s capability for violence and his aggressive, intimidating and unpredictable behaviour, as something she is frightened of.
“She says she fears for her won safety and that of her daughter. Fitzgerald has a number of convictions for violence although none towards this complainant. They support her assessment of his character.
“We have no doubt the magistrates were entirely justified in coming to the view that a restraining order was necessary.”
Miss Beth Heaton, prosecuting, said Fitzgerald had taken the child out for the day on an access visit but returned to Miss Lee’s flat to fetch a new pair of shoes and an argument began.
She said: "Police were called by neighbours to a disturbance and found him outside the flats shouting abuse at Miss Lee and her new partner.
“The complainant told the officers that during the argument she had locked herself and the child behind a door to get away from him but he had banged and kicked the door until it burst open.”
Mr Gareth Evans, defending, said the restraining order was not necessary because the argument took place more than a year ago and there had been no problems since.
He said there was no history of violence against Miss Lee and no suggestion that he posed any sort of risk to his daughter. He said the restraining order made contact arrangements unnecessarily complicated.