One-time Game of Thrones actor jailed for restraining order breaches

Warwick Crwon Court at the Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington.
Warwick Crwon Court at the Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington.

A one-time Game of Thrones actor has been jailed once again for persistently breaching court orders to keep away from his former partner and her south Warwickshire home.

And as Stuart Hawkins was led from the dock at Warwick Crown Court to begin an 18-month sentence, his longest yet, he turned to the judge and protested: “I just want to be a father.”

‘Self-obsessed’ Hawkins, 40, of no fixed address but formerly of Leamington, had pleaded guilty to two charges of harassment in breach of a restraining order.

Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said Hawkins and Nicola Hayes, with whom he had a daughter who was born in 2014, had been in a relationship for about seven years, but split up in early 2016.

Hawkins could not accept it had ended, and as a result Miss Hayes took out a non-molestation order preventing him from contacting her or going to her home in Shipston-on-Stour.

Within a very short period of time, he had breached the order, and in March 2016 he was given a conditional discharge by magistrates who also imposed a restraining order.

But from then to October last year there were repeated breaches of the restraining order, with six further convictions and punishments increasing from suspended sentences to jail terms of 10 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 months.

Hawkins, who the court heard at an earlier hearing spent half the year in Belfast, working as an actor on the TV programme Game of Thrones, made threats to remove his daughter from the jurisdiction of the courts.

And on Facebook he threatened to ‘do a Raoul Moat’ and harm any police officer who tried to prevent him.

Mr Simpson said the latest breaches of the order took place on Miss Hayes’s birthday last month, when she received numerous calls from him.

There were further calls the next day, and she then saw Hawkins driving slowly past her home in Shipston in his van.

By the time of his arrest, he had made a total of 66 calls in a 48-hour period – but when he was questioned he gave ‘a cock-and-bull account’ of his phone having been stolen.

And Mr Simpson added: “There is a genuine fear that he is someone who would abduct their child.”

Niall Skinner, defending, conceded: “The contents of the pre-sentence report are not very encouraging.

“He gets very, very frustrated with the predicament he’s in. That is no excuse to continually breach the orders, which he has accepted and has always pleaded guilty.

“He misses his daughter. That’s what started all this. He loves his daughter and he wants contact with her.”

Mr Skinner handed the judge a letter written by Hawkins, in which he said Hawkins ‘realises that anything he has done in the past does not help him.’

“He knows he needs to have no contact with Nicola Hayes whatsoever until things stabilise. What he has done is stupid, and he knows that. The time has come for him to respect the orders.”

He added that Hawkins now had ‘a very good job’ earning £25,000 a year with HS2, and has accommodation in Southam and in Leicester, but ‘knows he’s going to go to prison for this.’

Jailing Hawkins, Judge Peter Cooke told him: “You have written me a letter, which I have read with care. It is expressed very articulately, and is a plea for leniency and is apologetic in its tone.

“It sits in entire contrast with the way you’ve been behaving since March 2016, and in stark contrast with the impression you have left on those authorities trying to help you.

“The report author says you presented as quite self-obsessed and ‘how unfairly he believes he has been treated by the criminal justice system.’”

The judge observed that in the report Hawkins claimed Miss Hayes had abducted their daughter, and seemed to harbour a long-standing grudge against her.

The probation officer concluded: “I must admit I left this interview quite concerned about what Mr Hawkins would do on his release.”

And Judge Cooke told Hawkins: “I believe you are, where Nicola and your daughter are concerned, a thoroughly obsessive individual, and that you have it within you to be manipulative.

“Your letter is an attempt to manipulate the court today, and I have seen through it.

“I regard the harm and distress you caused to be very serious, and she has the on-going belief that when you are released you would seek to abduct your daughter. The time now has come for condign punishment.”

As he was led from the dock, Hawkins turned and declared: “I just want to be a father, Your Honour.”