Paul Gascoigne fined by court after harassing ex-girlfriend
BOURNEMOUTH, England (AP) Former England player Paul Gascoigne was fined and issued with a restraining order on Thursday after he pleaded guilty to sending a series of abusive tweets, phone calls and messages to his ex-girlfriend.
The 48-year-old Gascoigne also pleaded guilty at Bournemouth Magistrates' Court to the common assault after beating photographer Steven Shepherd and damaging his glasses after spotting him ''secretly'' taking shots of him.
Gascoigne admitted to harassing Amanda Thomas, his girlfriend of five years, during a two-week period in March following their split at the end of last year.
The couple met after Gascoigne moved to the Bournemouth area in southern England where he underwent rehab treatment for his alcoholism.
Gascoigne sent a number of foul-mouthed and threatening messages and tweets about Thomas after she began a new relationship with Andrew Stone, another photographer who works with Shepherd.
Gascoigne's solicitor, Gavin Harris, told the court that Gascoigne had felt harassed by the pair of photographers which had caused him to ''crack'' under the pressure.
District Judge Stephen Nicholls sentenced Gascoigne to a community order for 12 months with a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement. He was issued with a restraining order for two years prohibiting him from contacting Thomas or making comments or posting material about her on social media.
The judge warned Gascoigne that if he breached the restraining order he could face up to five years in prison.
Gascoigne was fined 100 pounds ($153) for the harassment and will also have to pay 1,000 pounds in compensation to Thomas, 100 pounds to Shepherd, 200 pounds for the broken glasses as well as a 60-pound victim surcharge.
Once one of England's most talented players, Gascoigne has faced years of alcohol and mental health problems.