Sunday 25 February 2018

Former football star Gascoigne fined for harassing ex-girlfriend

Paul Gascoigne
Paul Gascoigne

Ben Mitchell in London

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been fined and made subject to a restraining order, after he pleaded guilty to sending a series of abusive tweets, phone calls and messages to his ex-girlfriend.

The 48-year-old also pleaded guilty at Bournemouth Magistrates' Court to common assault, by beating "paparazzi" photographer Steven Shepherd and damaging his glasses after spotting him "secretly" taking shots of him.

Gascoigne admitted harassing Amanda Thomas, his girlfriend of five years, during a two-week period in March following their split at the end of last year.

The 48-year-old entered guilty pleas at Bournemouth Magistrates' Court to the charges of harassment of Ms Thomas, assault by beating of the photographer and damaging his glasses worth £200 (€278). The court heard Gascoigne posted a series of abusive Twitter messages about Ms Thomas.

Lee Turner, prosecuting, told the court the relationship between Gascoigne and Ms Thomas had ended at the end of last year and she had begun a new relationship with Andrew Stone, a photographer.

On March 16, 2015, Gascoigne telephoned Ms Thomas at a Post Office shop where she works in Bournemouth, Dorset.

The court heard Ms Thomas told the defendant that she did not want to be contacted again but Gascoigne went on to send her text messages on eight occasions in the following days.

Mr Turner added that on March 20, Gascoigne sent a "series of abusive tweets" including one post saying: "I am going to f*** him over."

Mr Turner also read out insulting comments made by Gascoigne about Ms Thomas.

Mr Turner said: "As a result of those tweets, it encouraged other persons using Twitter which led to further harassment of Ms Thomas."

He said that Gascoigne also turned up at her place of work "causing a scene" and started shouting her name.

Gascoigne was later arrested after Ms Thomas made a complaint to the police.

After sentencing the former footballer did not speak to reporters and was driven away in a waiting car.

Irish Independent

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