Man who sparked international search jailed


Dale Spridgeon

 A 26-year-old man for whom an international search was launched after he vanished with his five-year-old daughter was jailed on Tuesday for three times assaulting his ex partner and for sending her offensive and menacing phone messages.

Brian Owens, of Maes Cyttir, Holyhead in Anglesey, had left the magistrates court at Caernarfon on Friday before a hearing at which despite his denial he was found guilty of the four offences. Police discovered he had gone to Ireland with his daughter Molly but he returned on Monday.

When he appeared in custody at Caernarfon court yesterday, his solicitor Glyn Roberts stressed that his well publicised disappearance had not involved further offences.

Owens was jailed for a total of 38 weeks, including 12 weeks of a suspended sentence for a motoring offence. He was ordered to pay his victim Jayne Stowell, 39, £600 compensation and an indefinite restraining order bans him from contacting her in any way.

Rhian Jackson, prosecuting, said the couple's relationship had ended two years ago  but Owens had made a habit of turning up at her home and staying there.  He became controlling and nasty and made false claims about her.

It had reached such a stage that she was fearful of going out any more and didn't get up in the night from her separate bedroom in case he accused her of meeting someone. Once Owens had accused a son of hiding a man in a wardrobe. "She said she didn't have a relationship with anyone but just wanted to look after her kids," said Mrs Jackson.

Dealing with the common assaults in May and June at her home, Owens had twice put his arms around her neck so tightly that on one occasion she was dizzy and on another started to fit.  He'd also slammed a plate into her knee. He'd tried to say that a mark on her neck caused by his strangling action was another man's love bite.

The victim got rid of her phone and when she went to stay with a friend Owens sent threatening texts to the woman's mobile saying he was going to kill his ex-partner. Jayne Stowell wrote a 14 page victim impact statement which was handed to magistrates.

The defence solicitor said they'd been in a relationship for many years.  When it broke down there were tensions. Mr Roberts added : "His primary aim is to concentrate on the relationship with his daughter."

He took no issue with the restraining order so long as it allowed access to his daughter.

Court chairwoman Ffion Jones told unemployed Owens, who was in a black t shirt : "The offences in front of us today are so serious that custody is the only option available."


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