Devon

Man jailed for secretly living in ex's Exeter loft

Aaron Chidgey Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Aaron Chidgey left dirty dishes in his former girlfriend's kitchen while secretly living in the loft

An abusive boyfriend who had secretly been living in his ex's loft has been jailed for 15 months.

Aaron Chidgey, 25, was caught after leaving dirty dishes in Amy Birch's home in Exeter.

When she went to investigate, she saw his legs disappearing through a trap door into the attic space.

Chidgey had just been released from prison for assaulting Ms Birch and breaching a non-molestation order.

He had been banned by two court orders from going near her home in Exeter, but sneaked in through a balcony and hid in the loft.

Judge Peter Johnson said within a "remarkably short time" after his release from prison, Chidgey had a "debilitating effect" on Ms Birch, who was pregnant at the time.

Mr Herc Ashworth, prosecuting, said restraining orders were made after Chidgey's abusive relationship with Ms Birch broke up after three years and she became pregnant by another man.

He broke the order for the first time on July 16 when he got into the flat and she saw him through a window as she returned with her mother.

A week later, Ms Birch returned from a weekend away and saw food and dirty plates in the kitchen which were not hers and caught Chidgey climbing into the loft.

He admitted one count of breaching a restraining order and two of breaching a non-molestation order

The restraining order was extended until 2024.

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