A dad-of-two continued to pester his ex-wife over Facebook messenger after getting stuck in Pakistan.

Naseem Iqbal was arrested when he eventually flew back into Heathrow Airport last month, as he’d failed to appear to be sentenced for earlier breaches of a restraining order banning him from contacting his former partner.

The 43-year-old was finally sentenced at Oxford Crown Court this week. Judge Ian Pringle QC jailed Iqbal, who appeared in the dock wearing a jumper with the phrase ‘my way or high way’ written on the sleeve, for a year – saying the effect he’d had on his ex-wife was ‘very distressing’.

Outlining the facts, prosecutor Christopher Pembridge said Iqbal had been with his wife for a decade until the relationship broke down in 2017.

In 2019 he was given a restraining order after he was convicted of beating her.

Between September 2020 and February this year, he repeatedly turned up at her home demanding to see the children. Over Christmas last year, he sent a number of text messages.

On February 14, the dad-of-two called his ex and told her: “I know what you’re doing. I know who you’re seeing. I’ll sort you out.”

Interviewed by police the following day, he claimed he couldn’t help himself and missed his children.

He later pleaded guilty to harassment and was bailed by the magistrates’ court. Iqbal flew to Pakistan then claimed he couldn’t afford to come back due to the quarantine rules. Between April and June, while in Pakistan, he peppered his ex-wife with messages and calls via Facebook Messenger.

Iqbal returned to the UK on October 14 and was arrested at Heathrow Airport.

Mitigating, Daniel O’Donoghue said his client’s messages had not been ‘overtly threatening’, although he acknowledged the impact that they would have had on his former partner.

“He says that his first time in custody, having now spent around a month in custody, has allowed him to reflect,” the barrister said.

“He understands this is a wake up call and it was a big mistake.”

The defendant had a heart problem, for which he was prescribed blood thinning tablets, and also suffered from depression and anxiety.

Jailing him for a year, Judge Pringle told Iqbal: “You quite clearly were not able to comply with the restraining order made against you.”

He made another restraining order preventing him from contacting his victim for life, warning the defendant: “Please be clear, Mr Iqbal, if you breach this order the maximum sentence is one of five years imprisonment and next time you won’t be treated with such leniency.”

Iqbal, of High Street, Standlake, pleaded guilty at earlier hearings to five counts of breaching a restraining order.

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