Devon

Former Devon headmaster jailed for stalking

Russell Hollins Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Russell Hollins was described as "arrogant and manipulative"

A "manipulative" former headmaster who stalked his ex-partner for nine months has been jailed for two years.

Russell Hollins, 71, of Strand Court, Topsham, tried to get Sally Edgington fired and made false allegations of sex abuse against her children, Exeter Crown Court heard.

He sent her abusive messages and contacted her family when he lost direct contact with her.

Hollins had admitted stalking and breaching a non-molestation order.

The former headmaster, who worked in both state and public schools in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Warwickshire, became obsessed with Ms Edgintgton despite only being with her for a year in an on-off relationship.

Hollins was being treated for prostate cancer at the time he broke up with Ms Edgington and used this to emotionally blackmail her, the court heard.

'Misogynist'

The stalking left her so traumatised that she was unable to sleep, jumped whenever she heard a phone ring and needed counselling.

Hollins's teaching career ended because he was convicted of stalking his ex-wife and another partner in 2009, 2010 and 2015. He has seven previous convictions for breaking restraining orders.

His campaign against Ms Edgington, who described him as a "totally arrogant and manipulative" misogynist, continued after the imposition of a non-molestation order in September 2018 and carried on until he was arrested in May and made subject to bail conditions.

He used different numbers and names to contact her when she blocked him on messaging platforms and social media.

Hollins was given an indefinite restraining order banning any contact with Ms Edgington and barring him from going to a large area of Warwickshire around Bedworth and Coventry.

Sentencing him, Judge David Evans said the "cruel" stalking had caused his victim "great distress and damaged her life".

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