A MAN who continuously punched a car whilst shouting at his ex-partner who had locked herself inside has appeared at court.

Bryce Scott Lucas faced magistrates sitting at Newton Aycliffe yesterday after pleading guilty to once charge of harassment and breaching a restraining order.

The court heard that the 20-year-old was in a relationship with the victim for two years and the pair have one child together.

Laura Lax, prosecuting, said: “At the back end of 2018 she [the complainant] obtained a restraining order against him after a conviction for harassment.

“The order was made for two years till April 2020 for him not to refer to her on social media and not to enter [her street] and not to contact her directly or indirectly by any means.

“She described at approximately 7pm on August 13 last year she was at her home address when the defendant attended asking for paperwork. He could not find it and said he wanted to look in her vehicle.

“She said his behaviour seemed agitated and he appeared irritable. She allowed him to look in the vehicle then she asked him to leave. He refused and began hitting the vehicle with his fists.

“At that point she got into the vehicle and locked it and he tried to open the doors whilst shouting loudly at her. She tried to drive away but he positioned himself to stop her doing that.

“The ordeal lasted between 30 and 40 minutes and police were called.”

The victim said in a statement that the incident had made her feel scared for her safety and scared to report incidents for fear of retaliation.

An independent domestic violence advisor told the court the victim was "supportive of the restraining order being extended" because "the thought of it running out makes her feel uneasy and unsafe."

Lucas has 11 previous convictions for 20 offences.

Stephen Andrews, mitigating, said: “When things began to go wrong between the two it resulted in his appearance before the court when he pleaded guilty to harassment and a restraining order was made.

“Shortly thereafter the two of them essentially got back together in an attempt to do what they thought was the right thing for the child. They even had discussions about coming back to court about the restraining order. They got back together for three months in April, until July and then this incident happened in August.

“He would say he was invited to the address on that day which I know is at odds with what the complainant has said.

“To his credit he contacted the police after the incident and arranged to attend the station voluntarily.”

Magistrates ordered Lucas, of Parker Terrace, Ferryhill, to pay £50 compensation to the victim and sentenced him to an 18-month community order.

He must also pay £50 towards court costs and £90 victim surcharge and the restraining order was extended for a further two years.