A woman is facing jail after she bombarded her ex-boyfriend with more than 1,000 text messages in a week begging for them to get back together, an act that nearly caused the ex-boyfriend to “commit suicide.”
Michelle Felton, 28, phoned and texted Ryan Harley up to 150 times per day following their breakup.
Harley accused Felton of controlling him throughout their 21-month relationship, Chester Magistrates’ Court heard today, Thursday, December 8.
She admitted to harassment after her not-guilty plea to coercive behaviour was accepted by prosecutors. She faces up to six months behind bars.
Among the texts, Felton, an optician’s assistant wrote: ‘Why won’t you speak to me? I love you. Are we meeting tonight? Are we going out?’
Harley called the police on Felton when she began leaving gifts on the doorstep of the home he shares with his mother in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK.
He reportedly told police officers: ‘I just want it to go away and for it all to stop. I just feel like ending it all’.
The couple began dating in May 2020 but parted ways in February after Felton kicked Harley in the groin and Harley accidentally broke her finger in retaliation.
Felton’s lawyer Peter Barnett said the relationship reached boiling point when an argument erupted between the pair at Felton’s mother’s house.
Barnett said: ‘They woke up in the morning whereupon they had an argument. He was watching videos on his phone and she says she wants to spend time with him.
‘She tries to give him a hug but he says he has had enough. During the argument, he accepts that he struck her with a sock which we say was wound up so that it was like a rope.
‘She accepts that she has kicked him in the groin area because he was causing pain.
‘He then grabs her right hand and starts to bend and twist her little finger until it snaps. He maintains that she grabbed him around the neck but she says she was just sitting up.’
Harley spent the next five days by Felton’s side as her swollen finger healed. She was unable to work because of the injury for one month, Barnett added.
Then the constant messages began, according to prosecuting lawyer, Lynne Sayers.
‘There was then a constant bombardment, with as many as 100 to 150 missed calls in a day over one 11-day period to Ryan,’ she said.
‘There were literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of messages between 15 and 26 February this year.’
Sayers said at one point, Harley told Felton: ‘This has become toxic. Just leave me. I need a few weeks.’
‘But a lot of the messages are sent about him allegedly cheating on his driving test,’ Sayers said.
‘She went on and gave him a hard time about that. Then she said, “No, I am very proud of you. When are we going to meet?”
‘There were a lot of very love-type messages, with love hearts, but they were perpetual. There’s a change of tone at some point but the majority are love-type messages, and “Why won’t you speak to me?”‘
‘He just wanted it to all go away,’ Sayers added, ‘and for it all to stop.’
Sayers said while it was clear Felton was clearly just ‘pouring out her feelings’, the continuous messages left Harley in ‘serious distress’.
‘It’s not denied that the defendant has had a difficult time but the effect on the victim has been quite considerable,’ she added.
Magistrates adjourned the case. She is prohibited from contacting Harley or his mother Jane. Felton will appear at Warrington Magistrates Court on January 6 for sentencing.