A MAN was jailed for harassing his probation officer in Newtown, a court heard on Tuesday.

Wesley Hardiman, 34, of no fixed abode, admitted making inappropriate personal comments towards Rebecca Farrington, making comments about her family members and her movements and making a direct threat to knock her out and wait outside her place of work.

Hardiman was also sentenced for breaching his supervision order following his release from prison and was re-sentenced for a charge of racially aggravated harassment towards a member of staff at Newtown Job Centre.

Ceri Ellis-Jones, prosecuting, said that the defendant “clearly wanted” the victim to know that he knew her movements and her family members.

Ms Farrington had to take a step back from Hardiman and his sessions with probation then had to take place at Newtown Police Station, the court heard.

When Ms Farrington was in a meeting the defendant “made a direct threat to knock the complainant out and wait outside for her”, Ms Ellis-Jones said.

“She didn’t even know he was in the building at the time,” she added.

The following day Hardiman made similar threats to Ms Farrington’s colleagues, magistrates heard.

Ms Farrington said she was confused by the defendant’s behaviour as she was understanding and supportive towards him, Ms Ellis-Jones told the court.

The probation officer said she had not experienced this level of harassment before and said it was “wholly unacceptable”.

Ms Ellis-Jones argued for a restraining order as comments made on her movements “suggest stalking although he is not charged with that offence”.

“His previous convictions don’t paint a very nice picture either,” the prosecution said.

Mike Davies, defending, said it was an “unusual situation” as usually people who don’t co-operate with probation don’t turn up.

“Probation now feel that they cannot work with Hardiman,” Mr Davies said.

“They are people trying to help him and he reacts in this manner.”

Mr Davies said that Hardiman did admit the offence and that the words he used were wrong.

Stephen Pembroke, chair of the bench, said that Hardiman had caused “psychological harm” to the probation officer and that his actions caused her to change way of working and her way of living.

For the three offences Hardiman was given 24 weeks custody. He was told to pay £115 in victim surcharge, £85 in court costs and £60 in probation costs.

A restraining order was also made for Hardiman not to go near Ms Farrington, her place of work or to post anything online referring to her. The order will remain in place until further notice.