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Man jailed for flouting court order by returning to former Whitehaven family home

Carlisle Crown Court

AN alcoholic who flouted a strict court order by visiting his former family home in West Cumbria has been jailed.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how Derek Rutherford’s daughter went to investigate after hearing noises in the kitchen of her mother’s Whitehaven home on October 16. She found 46-year-old Rutherford rummaging through cupboards while wearing a hooded jacket which was pulled tightly around his face.

“She recorded him on her mobile phone,” said prosecutor Kim Whittlestone. “He said ‘don’t tell the police; I’m up to my neck in it already’.”

Earlier in the month, Rutherford had committed two identical shoplifting crimes by stealing cans of lager from a town shop on successive days. He later admitted two thefts when he was brought to court, and breaching a restraining order which had been in imposed in February last year. This prohibited him from attending at the Whitehaven address due to his previous conduct towards his ex-partner and daughter.

In a victim impact statement, his daughter said: “I don’t feel safe in my own home as dad has no regard for his restraining order.”

The court heard Rutherford – who formerly worked as an electrician at Sellafield – was an alcoholic who had suffered a severe brain injury which led to a “deficit of impulse control”. He couldn’t recalled his October crimes.

Jailing Rutherford, of Solway Road, Whitehaven, for nine months, Judge Nicholas Barker told him: “You now know all too well the consequences of breaching that restraining order.”

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