Ashington stalker gave ex-wife a nervous breakdown and bombarded her with calls and messages

A stalker who caused his ex-wife a nervous breakdown bombarded her with calls and messages after their marriage ended.

Martin Brennan sent threatening messages to his ex-wife and called her almost 50 times in one day after their long marriage ended. The 35-year-old’s behavior left the woman feeling “exhausted” and “very anxious and overwhelmed”.

Brennan, of Park View, Ashington, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Wednesday to be convicted of criminal harassment. He pleaded guilty to the charge at a previous hearing.

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Ellen Wright, prosecuting, said Brennan had been in a relationship with the woman for several years and was initially happy. However, things quickly changed, with Brennan’s behavior turning “aggressive”. She said: “In October 2019 she suffered from a mental breakdown and a deterioration in her physical health. She believes this was the result of her marriage to the defendant and her controlling behavior during that marriage. .”

The woman then left the house with their children and told Brennan that she wanted no further contact. But despite their separation, he continued to contact her from private numbers and told her he was “remorseful”, but some conversations were threatening. Ms Wright said Brennan told her ‘see what happens’ and said he would go to his mother’s house and even show up at her place of work. The court heard the woman believed Brennan had called her “thousands of times” since their breakup.

Ms Wright said if Brennan couldn’t reach her by phone, he would text her from a phone belonging to a friend’s child. Between July and September 2020, he sent her 76 emails containing photographs of the couple during their relationship, with some emails also threatening in nature. One day in August, Brennan made 46 calls to the woman from a private number.

The court heard that when the woman moved out, Brennan, who had 17 previous convictions for 28 offences, somehow found out where she lived. He also deleted her Instagram account and contacted her via Snapchat using their son’s phone saying he was upset with the way she dressed in some photos. Ms Wright said he also created fake Facebook accounts in an attempt to add and contact her.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: ‘I am exhausted by his behavior and very anxious and overwhelmed.

Tony Cornberg, defending, said Brennan opined that the woman “suddenly disappeared with their children” until he “realized what he had done to push her away”. He said: “He takes full responsibility and has great remorse. He doesn’t believe he can behave like this. He has since found work as a chef and been promoted to sous chef and has a new partner. He seems to have regained some ambition.”

Judge Robert Adams sentenced Brennan to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months and ordered her to perform up to 25 days of rehabilitation activity. He must also pay £670 in costs and a five-year restraining order has also been imposed.

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