Former Pegswood Parish Council chairman Jim Burley in court again

A former Pegswood Parish Council chairman has appeared in court charged with breaching a restraining order imposed to protect his ex-lover

Jim Burley, former Pegswood Parish Council chairman
Jim Burley

A former parish council chairman from Northumberland has appeared in court charged with breaching a restraining order imposed to protect his former lover.

Jim Burley, 76, former boss of Pegswood Parish Council, appeared before magistrates at Bedlington yesterday accused of breaching the order imposed by a crown court judge to protect Sharon Auld.

Ms Auld told Mid and South East Northumberland magistrates Burley had said to her: “I will get you.”

The West View resident denies the charge and the trial was adjourned midway through.

Burley, a retired coal industry manager, had a five-year relationship with Ms Auld, which she ended in 2006.

The five-year restraining order was made at Newcastle Crown Court in May last year, after he was convicted of harassing her through a series of poison pen letters.

Yet magistrates heard Ms Auld outline how on July 5, she was driving through Pegswood when she saw Burley getting into his car.

Ms Auld told the court the defendant began to follow her in his car and so she changed her plans and went to a village shop.

The court was told Burley also parked at the shop moments later. Ms Auld went inside the store while Burley waited outside. When she emerged the defendant walked into the shop, passing her.

She claimed Burley said “I will get you” as they passed each other and used an offensive word.

Ms Auld got into her car and waited for Burley to leave the scene, and told magistrates he “stared” at her as he walked past her vehicle.

She claimed the incident left her “shaking” and added: “It is just bringing back everything that has gone on in the last several years.”

However, John Monkhouse, defending, told the court his client had been going to the shop and was not intentionally following Ms Auld.

He said Burley had waited outside the shop as he was unsure whether Ms Auld’s car was in fact hers and did not want a confrontation.

The defendant denies saying anything to Ms Auld or staring at her. Mr Monkhouse said to Ms Auld: “This is all part of a concerted effort by you whenever you see Mr Burley to get him into trouble.”

The solicitor invited magistrates to dismiss the case at the end of the prosecution case but the court - which was shown CCTV footage of the alleged incident - ruled it should proceed.

They adjourned the matter until next Wednesday at 2pm, granting unconditional bail until then.

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