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Stalker jailed after week of ‘terror’

10 Oct 2018

A stalker who stabbed himself in the chest in front of his ex-partner has been jailed.

Peterborough man Hayden Gavaghan, 28, of Beverstone, Orton Brimbles, subjected his former partner to a campaign of intimidation after turning up at her home on Thursday, 5 July.

Over an eight-day period, Gavaghan followed the woman to beauty appointments, frogmarched her to a pub and, eventually, tailed her home and stabbed himself in the chest outside.

Gavaghan was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to stalking and possession of a bladed article.

Peterborough Crown Court heard Gavaghan and the woman were in a relationship for 10 months. It ended when the man’s behaviour towards his then pregnant partner became increasingly controlling and violent. A year-long restraining order banning Gavaghan from contacting his ex-partner was issued by the courts in May 2017.

On 5 July, Gavaghan arrived outside his former girlfriend’s house. Fearing what he might do, she asked him to run an errand for her to the shop. She used this opportunity to leave the property but during this time Gavaghan had gained entry to the house and used a Stanley knife to cut his own throat in the kitchen. He was found by a neighbour who called an ambulance.

The following day, he interrupted his ex-partner’s nail salon appointment in Whittlesey. As she tried to walk to her car, Gavaghan frogmarched her to a nearby pub. He became aggressive, thumping his drink on a table and later grabbing the neck of her jumper as she tried to leave.

Over the next 48 hours, Gavaghan called his former partner threatening to kill himself.

Hayden Gavaghan
Hayden Gavaghan

On Thursday, 12 July, as his ex-girlfriend was attempting to leave a supermarket car park he used his own car to block her exit. After she claimed she needed to visit another store, Gavaghan let the woman leave. He tailgated her car as she drove home, flashing his vehicle’s lights.

When they pulled up at her home, Gavaghan threw his keys and mobile phone into his car. He pulled a four-inch kitchen knife from his pocket and plunged it into his chest.

In a victim impact statement, his former partner said: “The series of incidents leading up to Hayden stabbing himself in the chest has had a massive impact on my mental health.

“I fear going out anywhere in public, but I know I have to because of work and my daughter.

“Any noise I hear at home frightens me and I constantly check my windows and doors to see if they are secured. I feel constantly on edge. I just don't feel safe anymore.”

Gavaghan has been made subject of a 10-year restraining order preventing him from contacting his former partner.

Following the sentencing, DC Brett Morley said: “Gavaghan subjected his ex-partner to a week-long campaign of terror. No person should have to suffer this kind of abuse and I would like to applaud her bravery in coming forward.

“The force is committed to tackling domestic abuse. I hope this sentence shows how seriously such crimes are taken by both the police and the courts.

“Anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse should contact police on 101 or call the national domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247.”

For more advice and support, visit www.cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Domestic-abuse/Domestic-abuse.

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