Restraining order imposed on Dursley arsonist and thief
6:02pm Friday 25th October 2013 in News
A 23-YEAR-OLD Dursley man serving a jail term of six years two months for arson and theft has had a restraining order slapped on him by a judge.
Alex Pye was told he must not make contact with a woman who made a witness statement against him on the theft charge.
He had allegedly tried to force the woman, Toni Lester, to drop the allegation against him warning that if she did not 'you're dead.'
At Gloucester Crown Court Pye, of Severn Road, appeared via video link from Channings Wood prison in Devon and pleaded not guilty to intimidating Miss Lester between April 19-22 this year.
The charge alleged he made threats in a telephone call and by standing outside her home intending to intimidate her into an act which would pervert the course of justice.
Prosecutor Janine Wood said the Crown had decided not to proceed with the charge if Pye would agree to a five year restraining order, banning him from any contact with Miss Lester.
"She is clearly concerned about Mr Pye and whether there will be any reprisals in respect of her giving a witness statement," Ms Wood said.
"The Crown consider a restraining order would be a suitable solution in this case and it would protect the witness who fears, not surprisingly, that when Mr Pye is released he will try to contact her."
Pye confirmed over the video link that he would be prepared to agree to a restraining order for five years.
His solicitor Andrew Hobson told the court: "He admits contact with her but he denies any witness intimidation. He accepts the restraining order and understands how serious it would be if he breached it when he is released from prison in about two-and-a-half years time."
After Recorder Trevaskis had made the order, Pye asked if the court could contact Miss Lester to ensure she does not speak to him or make any contact herself if she sees him after his release.
Miss Lester had been a witness to Pye stealing a Wii and another games console from her brother's house.
At the crown court last month, Pye admitted that theft and received two months for it in addition to six years for an arson attack on the home of recently widowed Caroline Gill in Slimbridge.
The blaze, just six weeks after she had lost her partner, destroyed the house and all the mementoes she had of him.