Former policeman attacked his ex — (BBC News)

SSRI Ed note: Police sergeant takes antidepressants, drinks, assaults former lover, loses job, is charged.

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BBC News

last updated at 17:04 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 18:04 UK

A former police sergeant has received a suspended sentence for assaulting a former lover.

Mark Murphy, 39, who was based in Swaffham, Norfolk, sent a series of abusive messages to Pc Georgina Vyse.

He then subjected her to a “terrifying” assault after arriving at her home as she prepared to go to work on 1 March.

Murphy pleaded guilty to harassment and common assault at Norwich Crown Court and was given a three month sentence suspended for one year.

He also admitted possession of a small number of bullets found at his home.

Prosecutor Guy Ayers said: “He came towards her and there was a grapple between the two. He smelt very strongly of intoxicating liquor.

“He put his face up to hers. She was terrified.”

Ms Vyse managed to break free and hide in some nearby bushes, while neighbours called police after being alerted by the commotion outside the property, the court heard.

Michael Clare, mitigating, accepted his client had been “thoroughly unpleasant” to Ms Vyse.

But he said Murphy had sought help for a drink problem and was looking to rebuild his life.

Weapon destroyed

He told the court Murphy was unaware the bullets were at his home and said they belonged to a weapon that already been destroyed.

The court heard Murphy, who had previously received a bravery award during his time with Norfolk police, had resigned from his job.

Murphy, who was on anti-depressants at the time of the offences, was also separated from Ms Vyse, the court was told.

Passing sentence Judge Philip Curl told Murphy: “You have brought shame on yourself, your family and Norfolk Constabulary.

“That in itself must be some sort of punishment.”

Murphy was also given a 12-month conditional discharge for possession of the bullets.

He was ordered to complete 200 hours’ unpaid work, pay £1,100 costs and was told not to contact Ms Vyse for four years.