Former soldier given suspended sentence and fine for sending text messages

A FORMER soldier who sent 150 text messages to his ex partner, including one obscene message, appeared before North Antrim Magistrates court on Friday.

Adrian Drake (25) who had two addresses, Elms Park in Coleraine and Mountainview Drive in Ballymoney, was also charged with assaults on two females.

Court heard that on June 9, 2006 at 8.30pm, the injured party answered the door to Drake who asked if they could begin their relationship again. The pair became involved in a row and Drake struck the injured party on the cheek.

When he was interviewed Drake denied assaulting the woman.

A second incident occurred on December 16 last year, when police were tasked to Mount Street following a call from a woman saying that she had been assaulted by her ex-partner.

Court heard that the injured party had received a series of text messages from Drake asking her to meet up with him. At 3am Drake went to the woman’s house where he struck her twice and pulled her to the ground. During the assault the injured party was trailed around by the hair.

Drake was then arrested for assault. When interviewed he admitted that he had made contact with the injured party through text messages, he said that any other allegations were lies.

On January 7 this year, police received a call from the injured party stating that she was receiving unwanted text messages. The injured party had received 150 text messages, one of these was of a naked male with his private parts on display.

In a police interview, Drake admitted sending the indecent image.

Drake’s solicitor told the court that his client had been in a series of difficult relationships. He said that Drake had been made redundant from the army and from then had ‘gone off the rails’.

The solicitor said that his client accepted that he acted irresponsibly through the influence of alcohol.

Referring to the incident on January 7, the solicitor said: “Mr Drake does accept that he shouldn’t have sent the text message, it is something she should not have had to open up and endure.”

Drake’s solicitor described him as a ‘hard working’ man who was ‘well thought of’ by his employers.

District Judge Richard Wilson gave Drake a two month sentence for the assault which occurred on June 9; he ordered him to pay the injured party 200 in compensation.

For the second assault on December 16, Drake was given an eight month sentence and ordered to pay 500 in compensation. He was also handed a further three month sentence and 300 fine for sending an indecent text message. The custodial sentences were suspended for three years.

The District Judge warned Drake that his behaviour was ‘disgraceful’. He said: “If that doesn’t bring it home to you I don’t know. It is up to you now,” he said.