Husband sent ‘Barnsley kiss’ headbutt threat letter to wife from Leeds prison


A PRISONER sent an intimidating letter to his estranged wife in a bid to get her to drop criminal charges against him.

A court heard Ian Cawthorne wrote to his former partner threatening to give her a ‘Barnsley kiss’ - a Yorkshire slang word for a headbutt.

Cawthorne wrote the letter while he was in Armley jail and sent it to the victim’s home in Leeds in February this year.

Martin Robertshaw, prosecuting, said Cawthorne and his partner were going through a divorce after they separated in November last year.

Cawthorne was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage over an allegation that he had thrown a brick through the window of the woman’s home.

Mr Robertshaw said the 54-year-old had been granted bail with a condition not to contact his partner while an investigation took place.

Cawthorne was then sent to prison as he continued to makes calls to her, send text messages and turn up at her home uninvited.

He then sent the letter asking her to drop the charges while he was being held in custody.

Mr Robertshaw said: “In that letter he states that it is all her fault that he found himself in Armley prison and states that he would like to get back together with her.

“In the course of the letter he asks her to drop the charges that he is facing, that he thought they were a waste of time and money.

“He was accusing her for being in the position he was in.

“He made reference, although written in brackets next to it was ‘joke’, saying he would give her a ‘Barnsley kiss’. I understand it is a reference for headbutt.”

Cawthorne, of Chapel Street, Rodley, Leeds, was arrested and claimed he did not realise he was committing an offence.

He told officers that he had sent the letter because he was bored.

Cawthorne pleaded guilty to intimidation.

Christopher Morton, mitigating, said Cawthorne had been struggling to accept that his marriage was over. Mr Morton said his client had spent three months in prison since his arrest.

Judge James Spencer, QC, imposed a six month sentence, Cawthorne he is likely to be released soon as he has already served half of the sentence on remand.