Leeds woman who fears volatile ex told court: 'This could be the day I die'

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A scorned partner who refused to stay away from his ex despite being handed a court order, verbally abused her during a funeral and even attended the primary school where she worked, making threats.

Toni Pickin ignored the non-molestation order taken out by the woman and continued to demand access to their son. He was jailed for 32 months at Leeds Crown Court this week after admitting six breaches of the order, and an assault on the victim.

Their 20-year relationship came to an end in 2021, which was described by prosecutor Oliver Connor as being "volatile and violent". The order for him to keep away was served on Pickin by the family court.

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But he paid no attention and continually breached its terms. He went to her home and banged on her door and said he "didn't give a f**k" if she called the police.

On another occasion the 49-year-old tried to grab his son when the mother was walking him to school. He then grabbed her. A passing school staff member was so alarmed she offered the mother and child a lift to get away from Pickin.

Pickin also went to a funeral that the woman was attending and was staring at her "constantly". He then approached her and her sister and told them: "You are both going down. You are both getting glassed."

He abused her over Facebook, and even went to the primary school where she worked looking for her. He began shouting at a member of staff telling them: "I will have her and I will have you."

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Pickin was jailed for a refusing to keep away from his ex, despite an order being taken out against him. (pic by WYP)Pickin was jailed for a refusing to keep away from his ex, despite an order being taken out against him. (pic by WYP)
Pickin was jailed for a refusing to keep away from his ex, despite an order being taken out against him. (pic by WYP) | WYP

In a victim impact statement read out to the court, the victim said that Pickin's behaviour had a "massive impact" on their son, leaving him fearful that his dad was going to kill his mum. The victim said: "I know in my heart I will end up disfigured or dead. I worry when I wake up if this will be the day my life ends."

Following his arrest, Pickin, claimed he knew nothing of the terms of the non-molestation order, having thrown the documents in the bin. Pickin, who had been living on Carlton Rise, Woodhouse, had been suffering health issues and had recently been made homeless.

Mitigating on his behalf, Martin Morrow said: "It's clear that the issue of contact with their son appears to be the root cause of what has unfolded. Regrettably, that contact was never put on a formal statutory footing.

"With hindsight, things could have been dealt with differently. It's clear he loves his son very much and rightly or wrongly, perceived the complainant was putting barriers in place to prevent him seeing him. He knows he has to face the consequences of his behaviour."

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Judge Ray Singh told Pickin that in the past he had breached court orders and that it "showed his attitude". He said of the non-molestation order: "Its purpose was to protect her. I'm afraid she was not protected because of your repeated breaches. You have shown a wilful disregard."

As well as the jail sentence, he was handed a lifelong restraining order to keep him away from his ex partner.

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