Breaking Kent Sittingbourne

Continued breaches of a restraining order have led to a Sittingbourne man being jailed for two years and two months


Despite being made the subject of a 10-year restraining order in 2018, Raymond Austin repeatedly sent a series of abusive and threatening messages to the victim.


The 41-year-old, of Meads Avenue, Sittingbourne, admitted five counts of harassment and was sentenced for the offences, and a breach of a suspended sentence, at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday 25 May 2021.


The restraining order was issued against Austin by Medway Magistrates’ Court in 2018 after he subjected a woman to a sustained period of harassment.


Although the restrictions made it clear that any contact with the victim was to immediately cease, he sent numerous unwanted text messages between July and November 2019.


These offences were not disclosed to Kent Police until June 2020, when Austin sent a further series of malicious communications that caused a high level of distress.


He was arrested on suspicion of the offence and gave a no comment interview while in custody.


Due to the need to carry out a forensic analysis of his phone, he was initially released on bail with strict conditions which instructed him not to contact the victim.


While on bail, he sent further unwanted messages which led to him being arrested for a second time in November. Upon being arrested on this occasion, he was charged with five counts of harassment and has been remanded in custody since.


Police Constable Zoe Hallam, Kent Police’s investigating officer for the case, said: ‘Austin has demonstrated an exceptionally concerning pattern of behaviour.


‘The messages he sent were disturbing and show him to be a man who has an obsessive determination to try to control and manipulate his victim.


‘Numerous previous interventions were made but he showed no willingness to change his behaviour.


‘There are no mitigating circumstances for his actions and there is no place in society for any offender who demonstrates Austin’s attitudes. I am therefore pleased a custodial sentence has been imposed, and hope it provides some reassurance to the victim.’