‘Bully’ behind bars after threats to kill his ex

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A “bully” who subjected his ex-partner to a six-week terror campaign in which he made threats to slit her throat and set drug dealers on her, is behind bars.

Burnley Crown Court heard how spurned, jealous and drunk David Kemp (41) bombarded Katherine Fairburn will phone calls at the Colne shop where she worked and on her mobile phone.

He made death threats, hurled offensive and derogatory comments and threatened to “do in” her best friend and workmate, who he blamed for their split.

Kemp, who has a long record for violence and previous convictions for harassment, carried on pestering the victim even after he had been warned by the police, had then appeared in court and had been bailed and was banned from contacting her.

The hearing was told all the while he was on a suspended jail term, imposed last July for affray and which had offered him help with his drinking, but he had flouted it and carried on boozing and offending.

He had struck when, according to his lawyer, he was depressed and “seeing life through the bottom of a glass.”

Kemp has now been jailed for a total of 12 months, after a judge said his behaviour had caused Miss Fairburn a lot of upset and fear – which was exactly what he had wanted.

The defendant, of Juno Street, Nelson, had admitted harassment. He was given a five-year restraining order, banning him from contacting the victim and from going on to Oak Street, Colne, where she lives.

Prosecutor Stephen Parker said the defendant and Miss Fairburn had been in a relationship for two-and-a-half years and she ended it last July due to domestic difficulties.

Mr Parker added: “Once he was told that, his behaviour towards her changed and he began calling her continuously, resulting in her providing an initial statement to the police, leading to them warning him under the Protection of Harassment Act at the beginning of March. He didn’t heed that warning and within days contacted her at her place of work.”

The prosecutor said, on March 8th, Kemp rang the victim about 10 times and she made it clear she wanted nothing to do with him and repeatedly hung up.

Shortly after 5pm, he called her mobile from an unknown number, was more aggressive and said he was in Colne and was going to come over in a taxi.

She called the police and defendant was charged with harassment, attended the magistrates’ court on March 18th, pleaded not guilty and was conditionally bailed not to contact her.

On August 18th, Kemp rang her at work saying: “The police have been round to my grandmother’s house and if anything happens to her I will kill you. I will slit your throat.”

He carried on calling and threatened her with drug dealers.

Robert Elias (defending) said the defendant, who had been on remand about 13 weeks, presented as perfectly rational when stone cold sober.

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt told Kemp: “This was persistent, nasty, bullying and threatening behaviour towards this lady, which obviously caused her a great deal of fear and distress, which is exactly what you intended she should feel.”