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Jailed: Peterborough stalker who stabbed himself during 'campaign of terror'

Hayden Gavaghan Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

A stalker who stabbed himself in the chest in front of his ex-girlfriend during a "week-long campaign of terror" has been jailed.

Hayden Gavaghan, from Peterborough, subjected his partner to a campaign of intimidation over eight days in July.

The 28-year-old, of Beverstone, Orton Brimbles, followed the woman to beauty appointments, frog-marched her to a pub and, eventually, tailed her home and stabbed himself in the chest outside.

Peterborough Crown Court heard Gavaghan and the woman were in a relationship for 10 months.

It ended when the man’s behaviour towards his then pregnant partner became increasingly controlling and violent.

A year-long restraining order banning Gavaghan from contacting his ex-partner was issued by the courts in May 2017.

Gavaghan had called his former partner and threatened to kill himself. In one incident, he cut his own throat in the kitchen of her home and was found by a neighbour who called an ambulance. The following week he followed her home from the supermarket and stabbed himself in the chest with a kitchen knife.

In a victim impact statement, his former partner said it "had a massive impact on my mental health".

“I fear going out anywhere in public, but I know I have to because of work and my daughter.

“Any noise I hear at home frightens me and I constantly check my windows and doors to see if they are secured. I feel constantly on edge. I just don't feel safe anymore.”

– Victim impact statement

Gavaghan was jailed for three years after admitting stalking and possession of a bladed article.

He has also been made subject of a 10-year restraining order preventing him from contacting his former partner.

“Gavaghan subjected his ex-partner to a week-long campaign of terror. No person should have to suffer this kind of abuse and I would like to applaud her bravery in coming forward.

“The force is committed to tackling domestic abuse. I hope this sentence shows how seriously such crimes are taken by both the police and the courts."

– DC Brett Morley

Anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse should contact police on 101 or call the national domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247.

For more advice and support, visit: www.cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Domestic-abuse/Domestic-abuse.