A VIOLENT and abusive man will be able to spend time with his girlfriend again after she begged a court to remove a restraining order.

Darren Stone, 42, of Willow Tree Court, Hawthorn Avenue, Colchester, breached the order less than a fortnight after being released from prison, Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard. Despite a history of abuse, the restraining order was changed from a total ban on seeing Nicola Harvey to a ban from her home after she kept contacting him.

Sharon Hall, prosecuting, told the court Stone had been in the relationship with Ms Harvey for two-and-a-half years and had previously been convicted of attacks against her.

The Crown Prosecution Service opposed any changes to the order.

Miss Hall said: “She is a very high risk.

“The purpose of the order is to protect the victim, even if the victim does not want to be protected herself.”

Ms Harvey told the court: “We are quite happy.

“We have a couple of issues, but we want to be together.”

Rosemary Stamp, chairman of the bench, told Ms Harvey: “You have been kicked in the head and we are concerned you are not getting the protection you need.”

Ms Harvey insisted they wanted to work it out.

Stone admitted two charges of harassment and breaches of the order on July 18 and 19.

He has been held in custody since July 25 and had only been released from prison on July 8 following a previous incident.

Mrs Stamp sentenced Stone to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.

She ordered him to take part in a probation service domestic abuse programme and changed the terms of the restraining order.