Devon

Devon and Cornwall crime commissioner stalked by ex-partner

Alison Hernandez
Image caption Alison Hernandez was elected in 2016

A police chief was stalked and assaulted by her former partner, a court heard.

Gil Winfield admitted assaulting Devon and Cornwall police and crime commissioner Alison Hernandez twice during their relationship then stalking her after they broke up.

At Exeter Crown Court earlier a judge warned Winfield he faces jail.

The 48-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating and one of stalking.

Winfield, of Cricketfield Road, Torquay, applied to change his pleas but his application was refused.

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Image caption Winfield claimed the "turbulent" relationship had lasted 18 months longer than the two years suggested by Ms Hernandez

He was bailed and will be sentenced on 10 September.

The assault charges related to a "backhander" slap during an argument in Ms Hernandez's car and Winfield grabbing her wrists during another row, the court heard.

Letters, texts and emails

Winfield claimed the "turbulent" relationship had lasted 18 months longer than the two years suggested by Ms Hernandez.

In a witness statement Ms Hernandez said she had ended the relationship after the two assaults.

However, Winfield had turned up at her house and friends' houses and sent gifts, letters, texts and emails, her statement said.

Contacts continued even after he was sent a solicitor's letter telling him to leave her alone, the court heard.

Judge David Evans said Winfield was "of previous good character" but warned him there was "a risk of immediate imprisonment".

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