Five-year order is made even more strict following attempt to have it removed
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/03/2012 -- Former TV contestant has had terms of his restraining strengthened after attempting to have the order removed.
The court order had banned him from contacting the BBC Points West presenter Alex Lovell, who hosted the show. After the hearing, the ban was stiffened for an indefinite time-period.
James Connolly attended Bristol Magistrates’ Court in an attempt to get the order levied against him five years ago lifted; However, following the courts hearing, the 50-year-old left with an even more strict order being imposed.
Connolly had imparted to the magistrates that he was a contestant on the show Brain Teaser in 2004. She had then moved to BBC Points West in July 2005. He stated that after he appeared on the program, he received “Numerous prank calls” which he believed were from Ms. Lovell.
"I believed those phone calls were from Alex, so I decided to respond in kind to them by emails,” He said. "As what I was receiving was anonymous, what I gave back was sometimes anonymous.”
"When the original harassment case was brought against me I pleaded guilty because I was sorry that I had upset her,” explained, continuing, "I didn't have a lawyer because I couldn't get legal aid as I was self-employed."
Connolly wanted the order imposed in 2007 lifted, because it was affecting his life.
"Whenever I travel I am being stopped by police and being questioned about things that happened eight years ago," he said.
"I want to go to America to visit my cousin, but with the restraining order being against a celebrity, and connected to the BBC, I don't think the American authorities would look at me in a kind light.”
"I believe that my passport has some kind of marker on it – I go to see my mum and dad in Ireland from Holyhead and my car always gets searched. I know that I will still have a criminal record but this restraining order is known to police as an 'active court order' and seems to mean they stop me more.”
"I feel like the order is a Sword of Damocles hanging over me."
Prosecutor Chris Colland stated that Ms Lovell had prepared a ‘victim impact statement’ saying that she wanted to keep the order in place. He then stated that Lovell felt the order meant Connolly knew he would face prison time if he attempted to contact her, and that order had been working for the previous five years.
"She believes the order hanging over him prevents him from contacting her because of the serious repercussions.
"The 'Sword of Damocles', as Connolly calls it, prevents him from making further contact with her.
"She makes the point that if this order was removed it would involve significant unpleasant and difficult security arrangements having to be put in place."
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