Derby granddad, 49, jailed because he won’t leave his ex alone

A pest from Derby who refuses to leave his ex-partner alone is back behind bars. Derby Crown Court heard how on the latest occasion Darren Birks’ victim didn’t call the police as she was frightened of any repercussions if she did. The 49-year-old grandfather, of Chaddesden, appeared at her address and threatened violence if she did not let him in.

And when he was arrested and remanded on that offence he repeatedly phoned her and sent her a letter, which he was banned from doing by a restraining order put in place six years ago for assaulting the woman.

Jailing him for 16 months, Judge Shaun Smith QC said: “You are getting a bit old for this Mr Birks.

Read more: Get the latest court stories from Derbyshire Live

“You are 49 now and you need to realise (the victim) does not want to have anything to do with you and when you realise that you will stop going to prison. Since you whacked her and hurt her in 2016 you have been a pain in her life and she’s frightened of you.

“But it looks like in recent times it had started to calm down a bit because for almost seven or eight months you have not contacted her. She is getting a rest from you and she must be mightily relieved.”

Mark Knowles, prosecuting, said Birks was handed the lifetime restraining order in 2016 when he was convicted of assaulting the victim.

But since then he has breached it on a large number of occasions.

In November 2020, he was jailed after he telephoned the woman a number of times on the afternoon of his release and then continued to call and send Facebook messages threatening to come to her house and telling her he loved her.

After being released from that sentence last year, he breached it again for the seventh time in three years when he turned up drunk at his ex-partner’s home and fell asleep.

On that occasion the defendant was told by a judge if he carried on doing what he was doing he would serve “a life sentence in instalments” behind bars.

Mr Knowles said the latest breach saw Birks, of Ashover Close, go and live with the victim despite the order being in place.

He said: “She did not contact the police because of threats of violence and him controlling her movements. He was then arrested and then continued to call her.

“He made regular calls to her and she said she continued to take them saying ‘I was frightened of what would happen if I didn’t.”

Birks pleaded guilty to his latest breach of the restraining order.

Stefan Fox, mitigating, said his client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He said: “He now has grandchildren and he’s simply getting too old to repeatedly keep going back to prison. He has got some employment waiting for him when he is released.

“Importantly, not only will this court have a free trial slot but equally (the victim) does not have to come to court (and give evidence at a trial).”