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Woman harassed ex-boyfriend with 1,000 texts and 150 calls a day after break-up

Optician's assistant Michelle Felton, of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire rang or messaged Ryan Harley up to 150 times a day, pleading with him to rekindle their relationship after ending it.

Michelle Felton rang or messaged her ex-boyfriend up to 150 times a day pleading him to get back together with her. (Cavendish)
Michelle Felton rang or messaged her ex-boyfriend up to 150 times a day pleading him to get back together with her. (Cavendish)

A woman has been given a restraining order after driving her ex-boyfriend to the brink of suicide by harassing him with more than 1,000 text messages.

Optician's assistant Michelle Felton rang or messaged Ryan Harley up to 150 times a day, pleading with him to rekindle their relationship after ending it.

In a torrent of texts, the 28-year-old would ask: "Why won't you speak to me? I love you. Are we meeting tonight?’ Are we going out?", before accusing him of cheating in his driving test when he failed to respond.

Harley, who lives with his mother, eventually called police when Felton started leaving gifts on his doorstep.

He told officers: "I just want it to go away and for it all to stop. I just feel like ending it all."

Felton sent Ryan Harley more than 1,000 text messages in total, pleading with him to rekindle their broken romance. (Cavendish)
Felton sent Ryan Harley more than 1,000 text messages in total, pleading with him to rekindle their broken romance. (Cavendish) (Michelle Felton/ Cavendish Press)

Felton, of Ellesmere Port, admitted harassment but pleaded not guilty to coercive behaviour at Warrington Magistrates Court. The latter was accepted by prosecutors.

The Specsavers worker was banned from contacting Harley for 18 months and sentenced to an 18-month community order with a requirement she participates in 30 days of rehabilitative activity. She was also fined £50 and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge of £395.

The court heard that the couple began dating in May 2020 but split up in February 2022 after an argument in which Harley accidentally broke Felton's finger and she kicked him in the groin.

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Prosecutor Arron Smith said: "Mr Harley informed Miss Felton that he wished to end the relationship. He said that it had been toxic in his view. She did not agree with that and it led to the harassment offence.

"Between the dates of February 15 and February 26 there was a constant barrage of messages. There were 100s of messages each day, missed calls and texts sent without reply.

Felton drove her ex to the brink of suicide. (Cavendish)
Felton drove her ex to the brink of suicide. (Cavendish) (Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

"The police officer records the messages on his body-worn camera, which was a constant scrolling exercise of message after message after message. As he was scrolling through them more texts and calls were coming through as the officer was recording it.

"They are not threatening messages or abusive messages, but it's the constant nature of them. She stated that she loves Mr Harley, that she was hurt that the relationship was over, and did not want to continue living.

"She sent photos of her and said that he belongs to her. He doesn't reply."

He added: "Miss Felton also attended his address when uninvited at times. She is informed several times that he does not want her to contact him and doesn't want to resume the relationship but she does not adhere to his request.

"He says it was causing him great discomfort. He does not want to have any more contact and wants to rebuild his life. The messages caused him great harm and distress."

Felton, who is currently dating a new boyfriend, had no previous convictions and was of good character, with a caution for assault in 2017 on her record.

In mitigation, Peter Barnett claimed Harley had only pursued the charge against Felton to avoid being prosecuted after he broke her finger.

He described an argument between the couple in which she allegedly kicked him and then he broke her finger - eventually resulting in her needing surgery.

Barnett told the court that it was 12 days after that that Harley ended their relationship.

He said: "She accepts the harassment and takes responsibility for sending those messages. But two wrongs don't make a right."

Sentencing Felton, JP Alan Eyres said: "It’s a sad story but nevertheless here you are.

"We have taken into account your late guilty plea and that you have no previous convictions. We do not want to see you again."