A man arrested on Christmas Day for repeatedly breaching a restraining order that was put in place to protect a woman has been jailed for 12 months.

James Gilbert, 35, of Ockelford Avenue, Chelmsford, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, January 23, where he received four month consecutive sentences for assault by beating and two counts of breaching a restraining order.

He admitted the offences on Wednesday, December 26.

Gilbert has a restraining order in place banning him from visiting or contacting a woman directly or indirectly.

At around 8pm on Friday, December 14, we received reports that Gilbert had pushed, punched and pulled her hair. The woman suffered an injury to her nose and called police at 11pm.

Gilbert remained under investigation and following the incident, continued to message the woman right up to Christmas Day. He was arrested at around 11.30am that day.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Gavin Tuck said: “Gilbert chose to ignore the terms of the restraining order and harassed the victim, including contact on Christmas Day.

“He continued to harass her and thought he was above the requirements of the order. He received a reality check when we arrested him Christmas morning and put him before a court.

“Restraining orders are protective and preventative. They try and help people move forward with their lives by prohibiting individuals who caused chaos and disruption.

“I hope this sentence acts as a reminder to other possible perpetrators. If you respect the terms of your order, you can also move forward with your own lives. However, if you choose to breach them, we will do everything we can to hold you to account and place you before the courts.”