Cocaine-fuelled Leeds thug repeatedly attacked partner months after stalking previous girlfriend

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A cocaine and booze-fuelled thug spared jail for stalking a former partner then went on to repeatedly attack another girlfriend, despite being warned by a court to stay away from her.

Jonathan Cleary was handed a 16-month suspended sentence in October of last year for making scores of unwanted calls to his first victim, and turning up her home "10 times a day".

After that relationship ended, he began one with another woman but due to his violent tendencies, was made the subject of a restraining order last year and told to stay away from her. He defied that order and continued to visit that woman's home in the Swarcliffe area between November last year and early January. Leeds Crown Court heard they had been in an "on/off" relationship and had a young child together, but Cleary would "become nasty" when taking drink and drugs.

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He would make comments about her cheating and even claimed their child was not his. On one occasion, he accused the woman of forging the birth certificate before ripping it up. He threw an empty beer bottle at her, and a half-empty can of lager during an incident, and on another from January of this year, asked the woman to remove the restraining order because it was "ruining his life", prosecutor Jade Edwards told the court.

Cleary was jailed for attacking a most recent partner, after he stalked a previous girlfriend. (pics by WYP / National World)Cleary was jailed for attacking a most recent partner, after he stalked a previous girlfriend. (pics by WYP / National World)
Cleary was jailed for attacking a most recent partner, after he stalked a previous girlfriend. (pics by WYP / National World) | WYP / National World

The 35-year-old accused the woman of being incapable of looking after children and punched her to the face. The next day he sent her vile voice mails and messages, calling her names and making threats. He was arrested and held on remand.

Appearing in court via video link from HMP Leeds today, he admitted three counts of assault and two of breaching his restraining order. Cleary, of Monkswood Avenue, Seacroft, has nine previous convictions for 12 offences, including for violence and the stalking offence for which he was given the 16-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

Mitigating for his latest offences, Mollie Briggs said: "He is sorry for what he has done and working to better himself. He was using alcohol and drugs to excess."

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She said he "spiralled" following a family death in December 2022, but has completed a drug-awareness course and has since "refrained from drug use". She said the father-of-three is hoping to move away from the area once he is released.

The judge, Recorder Alistair Macdonald KC told Cleary: "These were relentless activities and mirror very much what you were doing to your other partner. You have an imbedded behaviour when it comes to this sort of activity."

He activated Cleary's 16-month sentence in full, and gave him another 20 months' for the his latest offending, making a total of 36 months' jail. The restraining order was also extended for an indefinite period.

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