Preston woman's abuser jailed after he sent her up to 200 messages a day

A man who bombarded a frightened woman with threatening messages a day has been jailed for 14 months.

By Stef Hall
Friday, 22nd May 2020, 11:35 am

Arran Gowans, 32, of Derry Road, Greenlands, Preston, pleaded guilty to harassing the Preston mum for three months after a previous violent domestic attack on her led to him being charged with, and admitting, assault.

Preston Crown Court heard the relentless and chilling messages started after he had tipped her out of bed in the middle of the night, repeatedly punched her face and smashed up her car - charges for which he falls to be sentenced on June 18.

During Gowans' sentence via video link, Frances McEntee, prosecuting, said the degrading messages were sent after she split up with him as a result of that assault.

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Preston's courts

He said: "There's a paradox in which the messages repeatedly referred to the complainant as a grass.

"On November 16 the police were called by a neighbour who had witnessed a man in Dodgson Place at 5.29am smashing a car up with a length of wood.

"He could hear an argument and when police attended they found her at the address with a burst lip and blood around her mouth."

The court heard after she made a complaint the defendant was given conditional bail, and she started receiving messages.

He added: "At first she indicated she was prepared to accept some of the messages as they weren't aggressive or abusive, but as time passed they became more abusive, so she reported them to the police.

"As the messages progressed the threats were, with respect, relentless."

In some messages Gowans accuses her of ignoring him and warns her he is ready to 'blow up - explode with rage'.

In another he calls her a rat and says: "You just made yourself dead."

His ongoing messages threaten to stab her or set people on her.

He also accuses her of 'abuse' and says: " I'm gonna make you pay for this abuse, you're gonna get f****d for it.

The victim is referred to as a "life wrecker", "toxic", "evil" and "dirty person" among other insults.

In a victim personal statement the mum said she had lost everything, and had felt so much pressure that she had left her family home, and the defendant took it over.

She added: " I lost who I was. I used to be strong and never let anything get to me but now I feel weak."

Gowans has 17 convictions for 25 offences - including several common assaults and had previously been sentenced to a domestic violence course.

Judge Simon Newell said: "They were abusive, offensive, nasty threatening and highly persistent.

"It certainly shows a persistence and a malicious motivation on your part, to be able to sit down for so long, over such a long period of time, and recount the various messages that were sent, and one can fully understand why, over that period of time, the cumulative effect would have such a disastrous effect on her."

He also questioned why police had not intervened at an earlier stage, instead of allowing the offences to continue for longer, and imposed a five year restraining order.