Abusive boyfriend jailed after threatening girlfriend with knife at Northampton home and sending hundreds of "offensive and frightening" messages to her

"She asked you to stop but you didn't. One of the messages contained a picture of a knife with the threat to cut her tendon."

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 7:19 am
Updated Saturday, 13th March 2021, 7:22 am

A Romanian man living in Northampton has been jailed after sending his girlfriend "offensive, threatening and frightening" messages, which included threatening to cut her tendon with a knife.

Stefan Stroe, 44, bombarded his partner of three years, Roxanne Carlo, with messages which caused her to be "extremely frightened".

The messaged were sent on January 10, and were motivated as Stroe believed she owed him money for a car.

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Northampton Crown Court

Northampton Crown Court heard how when Stroe returned from Romania on January 10, after leaving on December 28, he went round to the woman's home in Far Cotton and forced his way past a housemate to get inside.

When inside, Stroe caused criminal damage while searching for his partner, who was at the police station making a statement about the tirade of messages she had been receiving.

John Farmer, prosecuting, said: "Once he returned [to the UK] he started a campaign of voicemails, text messages and video messages - 355 text messages, for example. They were persistent, offensive, threatening and frightening.

"He was demanding money that he was not owed. She sent messages to tell him to back off but he would not stop. One message had a picture of a knife with a threat to cut her tendons.

"She could not take anymore, she went to the police. She made a statement, at the same time the defendant went to her house and and forced his way in and caused damage to the property and gone equipped with a knife.

"At the police station he declined to answer questions but said "I admit I went to London Road because I wanted to speak to Roxanne in relation to money, she owes me".

"'I asked her housemate to let me in, I forced the door, when I entered the property my only intention was to speak to Roxanne. I didn't intend to hurt anyone or damage anything."

A redaction statement was later made by Roxanne, which the prosecution said they are "very skeptical" about.

Mr Farmer said: "There was pressure from her own family not to pursue it [the charges]. She said: "I am thinking of him all the time because he is in prison. I woke up scared because he is in prison. I initially rang the police because I was scared"."

Stroe was arrested on January 12 and has been in custody at Lincoln prison ever since.

Mr Farmer added: "Taking a knife in a rage and going to the home brought about potential consequences that he might have used it if she had been in.

"The level of persistence is considerable and he intended to maximise fear and distress and, in that, he was successful. Very serious distress was caused to the complainant, just as the defendant was intending. He risked serious disorder had he encountered Roxanne with the knife."

The probation officer in court said Stroe was "upset and angry".

"Mr Stroe said in interview he was angry and upset about the money, although stated that they had not split up but had an agreement to separate. He said he was upset about the break up and she had previously responded rudely swearing to him when he asked for money. He said he loves her and respects her and has not previously behaved in this way.

"He said his behaviour was out of character and recognised the harm caused. He said "I love her, I respect her, I admit my guilt".

"He is planning to return to the relationship and to the address. His aunt had told him that Roxanne wants to get back together. The situation of being in prison has brought him to depression.

"She said she wanted him to live with her, she loves him and she was happy he might be leaving prison."

Stroe's defense said the Romanian was on the "edge of a nervous breakdown".

"He was upset and tearful and said he was on the edge of a nervous breakdown. In terms of the knife, the blade was one centimetre, something he used at work to open boxes. He had no idea it was an illegal weapon, " said the defense.

The defense added that there was "not a high degree of planning but it's conceded that fear and distress was caused".

The judge scolded Stroe, saying he was "clearly a risk of creating serious disorder".

The judge said: You went back to Romania then returned. You subjected Roxanne Carlo to a course of conduct which, frankly, terrified her. You started sending voicemails, text messages and video messages. Content was offensive, threatening and frightening. There was a contentious issue about money that was owed.

"She asked you to stop but you didn't. One of the messages contained a picture of a knife with the threat to cut her tendon. She sought shelter at a police station.

"When you were arrested you were found to be in possession of a bladed article. It was a Stanley knife bladed holder, not particularly long but perfectly capable of causing serious injury.

"I am perfectly satisfied that the state of mind you were in, to behave in such an extreme manner, you were clearly a risk of creating serious disorder if you encountered her at her home.

"Mrs Carlo might have made a statement indicating she loves you and wants to stay in a relationship with you, but at the time she was extremely frightened.

"You yourself recognised that and accepted responsibility and realised the harm you have caused."

Stroe was sentenced to a total of 28 months in prison.

The judge added: "That is the very least custodial sentence I can pass on to you."

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