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Man jailed for terrifying ‘campaign of hate’ against ex-partner and her family

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A man who carried out a campaign of hate against his ex-partner and her family has been jailed for four years at Lincoln Crown Court.

William Gray targeted the family of Lauren Cousins after the couple’s relationship came to an end.

Gray attacked Ms Cousins’ grandfather while he was fishing leaving him in fear for his life after three times pushing him into a waterway.

Gray, who was already under a restraining order not to contact Ms Cousins because of a previous incident, left 70-year-old John Cousins terrified that he was about to be drowned.

Three weeks later Gray deliberately rammed his car into Ms Cousins’ vehicle injuring a teenaged passenger and badly damaging her car.

Phil Howes, prosecuting on Friday, December 16, said: “This was following the break-up of a six year relationship the defendant had with Lauren Cousins. These offences reflect a continued campaign of hate against his ex and her family.”

Mr Howes said that Gray approached John Cousins as the pensioner was packing his belongings after a day’s fishing at Whaplode St Catherines.

Gray made threats and then grabbed Mr Cousins by the collar and pushed him into the water saying “I’ll drown you”.

Gray used a crowbar to smash the windscreen of Mr Cousins’ car and pushed him twice more into the water.

Mr Howes said: “The grandfather was left feeling terrified. He said he had never been so frightened in his life.”

Gray later texted Ms Cousins in breach of a restraining order not to contact her before a further incident on September 25 when Lauren Cousins was in her car outside her home in Holbeach St Johns.

Mr Howes said that Gray drew up alongside the vehicle before reaching out of his window and smashing the windscreen of he ex’s car.

The prosecutor said: “The defendant drove off but then turned round. He then drove down the road and rammed Lauren Cousins’ car.”

A 13-year-old passenger in the vehicle suffered an eye injury as a result of the collision.

Gray then disappeared before being arrested in the Nottingham area on November 8.

Gray, 24, formerly of Sutton St James but currently of no fixed address, admitted charges of threatening to kill Mr Cousins and damaging his car on September 4.

He also admitted breach of his restraining order by contacting Lauren Cousins on September 17 together with charges of dangerous driving, criminal damage and a further breach of the restraining order following the incident at Holbeach St Johns on September 25.

In addition to being jailed he was banned from driving for three years which will commence when he is released from his jail sentence.

Judge Michael Heath imposed an indefinite restraining order banning Gray from contacting John Cousins.

An earlier restraining order banning Gray from contacting Lauren Cousins is to continue.

James Gray, in mitigation, told the court: “He was in a relationship with Lauren Cousins and there were no similar complaints during the years they were in that relationship.

“He accepts his behaviour was wholly unacceptable and inappropriate but it is the consequence of an immature young man reacting to his frustration.”