A man who posted a spiteful review of his ex-partner’s cleaning business as part of a campaign of harassment stormed out of court when he was told he was being jailed.

Alex Wood had already spent six months on remand when he appeared before Judge Nigel Daly at Oxford Crown Court this week - and his lawyer sought to convince the judge to impose a community penalty as an alternative to immediate custody.

But the judge told 39-year-old Wood: “Ms [Clare] Evans has argued you should be given the opportunity to turn your life around and get a further community order.

“Of course, these offences were committed shortly after you were given a community order in April 2021 for harassment on the same person.

“You didn’t stop. You just continued – again and again and again – despite the fact that the court had only just dealt with you for doing that.”

He imposed 16 months imprisonment and refused to suspend it, saying: “I am of the opinion you still present a risk or danger to the public, particularly to women who you may have an intimate relationship with.”

Judge Daly was looking at his notes so missed the moment Wood stood up in the dock and walked out the back door to the cells.

“Where’s he gone?” the judge pondered.

Oxford Mail:

Judge Nigel Daly

Earlier, prosecutor Cathy Olliver told the court that Wood had been given a restraining order by Oxford magistrates in 2020 preventing him from contacting his ex-partner.

He had already twice been in court for breaching it when he appeared before Judge Daly on Wednesday to be dealt with for the latest breaches.

Wood was said to have set up an email address and sent a message saying he wanted to see the woman ‘one last time’.

On April 25 last year he turned up at her home in Stokenchurch, Bucks, snatched £20 from her phone case and reversed into her chicken coop as he drove away, releasing the birds.

In June, he left an abusive review of his ex’s cleaning business on the CheckATrade website, claiming she had ‘arrived two hours late smelling of alcohol’. She was able to convince the website the review was a fake but it didn’t stop Wood sending another message claiming ‘karma is coming’.

Over the same month, he bombarded her with more than 50 phone calls.

Police circulated Wood’s details as wanted and he was eventually arrested sleeping in his car near the Uffington White Horse.

Wood, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breach of a restraining order, theft and malicious communications.

Oxford Mail:

Oxford Crown Court file image Picture: ED NIX

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