Man, 74, breached restraining order 13 years after becoming 'besotted' with barmaid

PUBLISHED: 14:41 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41 12 December 2018

Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court. Google Maps

Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court. Google Maps

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A 74-year-old man who had become "besotted" with a barmaid breached a restraining order by visiting her family's Suffolk farm, a court has heard.

Alexander Apthorpe, of The Green, Walberswick, Southwold, pleaded guilty on Wednesday (December 12) at Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court to breaching a restraining order on November 1 when he went to the woman’s family farm in South Cove.

James Hartley, representing the defendant, explained the background to the case.

The court heard that in 2005 the woman was working as a barmaid when the defendant became “besotted” with her. He discovered where she lived, sent her cards and invitations to dinner, the court was told.

“He didn’t exactly stalk her,” Mr Hartley said, adding that his client’s actions were not reciprocated by the woman.

Despite cautions and warnings, the court heard, the defendant’s behaviour continued, and in 2011 he was prosecuted after turning up at the woman’s family’s farm, saying that he wanted to see her because he was in love with her.

In 2012, breaching a restraining order, he went to the farm again, but by this time the woman had moved to London.

Six years then passed, the court heard, and meanwhile Apthorpe had been taking a monthly injection of medication which kept him “mentally stable”.

However, he decided last summer he no longer wanted the monthly injections.

The court heard that his psychiatrist saw him in September and tried to get him to use the medication but did not force the issue.

Mr Hartley said it was possibly because of the lack of medication Apthorpe turned up again at the woman’s family’s farm last month, telling police he wanted to see the woman and that he was in love with her.

“It’s a rather sad case,” Mr Hartley said.

The solicitor noted that after asking his client why he continued to look for the woman and go to her family’s farm, the defendant said: “Faint heart never won fair lady”.

The court heard that since the latest breach, Apthorpe had resumed taking the medication.

Chairman of the magistrates Dr Michael Flores said the court was guided by the fact that Apthorpe had stopped taking his medication, which had resulted in issues he probably had no control over - a “huge mitigating factor”.

The court fined the man £150. He was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £30.

“I would choose to think this shouldn’t happen again,” the chairman said.

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