Controlling Husband Sends Ex Wife Shredded Wedding Dress

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Controlling Husband Sends Ex Wife Shredded Wedding Dress
Mon 01-12-2014

A husband sent his ex-wife her wedding dress cut to ribbons as a way of harassment, has had his jail term halved on appeal.

Nigel John Baker sent the ravaged dress to his estranged wife, Tracey Baker, and sent a chilling text to one of her friends which read: "Wedding today, funeral tomorrow."

He also repeatedly visited and contacted his former partner, despite a court order banning him from doing so, the Birmingham Mail reports .

These offences were committed while he was still under a suspended sentence, handed to him in November 2012 for possessing a gun without a licence.

The 47-year-old, from Haden Hill, Chapel Ash, was locked up for 12 months at Wolverhampton Crown Court in October after being found guilty of breaching the suspended sentence and a non-molestation order.

But last week his jail term was cut to six months by judges sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court, who said the original punishment was "too long".

The court heard Baker and his wife had been together for eight years before they split earlier this year.

Following the break-up, he was ordered not to go near her home address in Tipton, or to contact her in any way other than through solicitors.

Despite this order, he went to her house four times on July 4, only leaving when she threatened to call the police.

The next day he sent a text to his ex-wife's daughter, asking her to tell her mother he loved her.

He was arrested after that and said he didn't think he had done anything wrong as Tracey was living at a different address to the one in the court order.

Baker was released on bail and warned not to go near his wife's current address or try to contact her indirectly.

The most serious offence came just days later, when he sent a package containing Tracey's wedding dress, which had been cut into pieces.

He claimed he did not know the court order was still in effect because his wife had consented to spend time with him on a number of occasions since it was made.

The earlier offence, for which he was handed a suspended sentence, involved him failing to hand over a sawn-off shotgun to the cops after he found it while looking for scrap metal to sell.

Source: Mirror

His lawyers argued his jail term was "over the top", saying the crown court judge did not take enough account of his personal circumstances, or the fact that he had completed the supervision element of his suspended sentence.

Allowing his appeal, Judge Simon Tonking said the judge should have made more allowance for the fact that Baker had made "progress" with the suspended sentence – and reduced his jail term to six months.

But, sitting with Lord Justice Pitchford and Mr Justice Stewart, he added that Baker deserved to be jailed for the harassment of his former wife.

He said: "We have no doubt that these offences crossed the custody threshold because of their persistence, the planning involved in one of them and the menacing nature of the one involving the wedding dress."