Social Worker left terrified by harassment and threats to family
A man has been jailed for a total of five months for carrying out a campaign of harassment against a Child Protection Social Worker that left her terrified and facing threats against her daughter.
When Claude Denham 26, of Kingsbury Square, Melksham, was found guilty of threatening the Social Worker from Wiltshire’s Children Safeguarding Team he was warned by the judge that he was lucky not to have faced a more severe offence of ‘violence through harassment’.
The campaign of harassment starter after Denham and his partner were involved in family court proceedings in 2016. Over the course of these proceedings Denham became increasingly threatening and abusive towards the Social Worker. On one occasion in July he stated he ‘knew people’ and had identified the place where the Social Worker’s daughter worked. These threats were followed up in October with similar statements of intimidation.
As a sad indictment of the state of the profession, the Social Worker explained in her witness impact statement that she was used to getting abuse but felt this was extreme due to the threats to her daughter and nature of harassment.
Claude Denham pleaded guilty to harassment and breaching a conditional discharge for two assaults.
When Jailing him on Tuesday 11th April, local press reports that Judge Robert Pawson said:
“I have no doubt whatsoever it was extremely stressful for you and your partner and would have been a black time in anyone’s life. However, the fact is that as a public servant doing a difficult job for little reward your victim is wholly entitled to get the protection that the law and these courts offer. For a reason that is not clear you were charged under Section Two of the Protection from Harassment Act. I tell you this: the maximum sentence I can pass is six months. Some might say having heard these facts opened why you weren’t charged under Section Four. Had they done I can tell you without any hesitation the sentence would be longer. But I don’t bring the charges: I just administer the law in front of me. That is a matter for the Crown Prosecution Service.”
Denham is also now subject to a restraining order banning him from contacting the Social Worker or her family.