A MAN from Rhyl who harassed and threatened his ex-partner and her family has been spared jail.

Matthew Hughes, 24, of Sandringham Avenue, was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment, suspended for a year-and-a-half, at Caernarfon Crown Court today (April 30).

He had previously admitted a charge of harassment.


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Prosecuting, William Griffin told the court that, in late July 2023, Cheshire Police was contacted by Abigail Parker, who reported “months of abuse” from Hughes.

They had separated approximately three to four weeks prior, having been in a relationship for about one year.

On July 4, and argument ensued between them regarding another male at Ms Parker’s place of work.

This “escalated”, Mr Griffin said, and Ms Parker eventually told Hughes to leave Warrington and return to his mother’s address in North Wales.

But Hughes shouted abuse at her and followed her, before grabbing and squeezing her face, leading to Ms Parker having a panic attack.

“You’re lucky I didn’t f****** bite you,” he told her, before following her into her car and shaking her head backwards and forwards.

Ms Parker blocked Hughes on WhatsApp after this incident, but he continued to contact her through various other platforms.

Messages predominantly consisted of Hughes threatening to kill himself and to harm Ms Parker and her family.

In one message, Hughes called her a “dirty, fat w****,” and in another, he told her: “You and your family are still at risk… remember that.”

Ms Parker feared Hughes would return to Warrington to carry out his threats, so her father contacted him to ask him to stop harassing her.

Hughes responded to this by threatening to have Ms Parker’s father shot.

He also emailed Ms Parker’s place of work, saying that she had lied on her application form, before sending another email apologising for his initial message, which he said was untrue and sent out of spite.

Ms Parker said Hughes’ actions have caused her to have her “independence stripped away” from her, and feel “terrified to go to work”.

She now takes antidepressants and has to change the locks on her home, Mr Griffin added.

Defending Hughes, who had five previous convictions for seven offences, Simon Killeen said his client is “making real steps now to address his own issues”.

Hughes is in employment, and has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but had stopped taking his medication to treat this at the time of his offending.

Sentencing, Judge Nicola Saffman imposed a restraining order, preventing Hughes from contacting Ms Parker for five years.

Hughes will also complete a 35-session programme, “to address how you behave in relationships and your social skills”, and 20 days’ rehabilitation activity.

He was also made subject to a trail monitoring tag.

Judge Saffman warned Hughes that, if he does not comply with his sentence, “it will be prison”.

She told him: “This cycle needs to stop.

“You react impulsively and out of all proportion to anything which goes against what you see should be happening in your life.

“There is more to you than this case suggests.

“If you don’t address your ADHD, you’re going to be back through that door again and again and again, and that’s up for you to resolve.

“This is not an easy order for someone like you; be in no doubt about that. But it’s the only order which has a hope of preventing future offending for you.”