'Misogynist' retired headmaster who lived in Rugby jailed for stalking

A retired headmaster has been jailed for subjecting his former girlfriend to nine months of cruel stalking.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 12:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 12:24 pm
Russell Hollins.

Russell Hollins, who previously lived in Rugby, tried to get his victim sacked from her job as a teacher in Warwickshire and made false allegations of sex abuse against her children.

He deluged her with scores of messages and used different names and numbers to carry on contacting her when she blocked him on text and social media.

Hollins targeted her family when he could no longer get at her directly and carried on his campaign of hate even after he was arrested and served with a non-molestation order.

Some of his messages were pleas for her to re-start their relationship, including one which offered her £25,000 to live with him again.

Many more were either threats or insults which humiliated and degraded her.

He even went to her bungalow in Warwickshire where he uprooted pot plants and threw rubbish around her garden before almost running over a concerned neighbour who tried to photograph him at the scene.

He had only been in an on-off relationship with her for a year but became obsessed with his victim and set about controlling her life.

She told police he was manipulative, intellectually arrogant, and a misogynist who despised women and thought them inferior to men.

He was being treated for prostate cancer at the time he broke up with his victim and used this to exercise emotional blackmail on her, persuading her to attend hospital appointments with him.

The stalking left her so traumatised that she was unable to sleep, jumped whenever she heard a phone ring, and needed psychological counselling.

Hollins, aged 71, spent his working life as a well respected teacher and he was head of private or state schools in Cornwall, Yorkshire, and Warwickshire.

He moved to a luxury riverside flat in Topsham, near Exeter, after splitting up with his partner and has been living as a carer for his 96-year-old mother for the past year.

His teaching career ended because he was convicted of stalking his ex-wife and another partner in 2009, 2010, and 2015 and has seven previous convictions for breaking restraining orders.

Hollins admitted stalking and breaching a non molestation order and was jailed for two years by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

He imposed an indefinite restraining order banning any contact with his former partner and her employers, or family and barring him from going to a large area of Warwickshire around Bulkington, Bedworth and Coventry.

The judge told him:"You were prohibited by a court order from any further contact but for week after week and month after month, you defied that order.

"She hoped the order would change your ways. You were sometimes pleading for her to resume contact but you also you also were also abusing her, insulting her and belittling her in messages.

"With one exception, she did not reply.

"You used your ongoing ill-health as a tool to manipulate her emotions in your favour. You made derogatory assertions about her to others and false allegations.

"You contacted her employers with the obvious intention of losing her her job.

"You have caused her very great distress and damaged her life. The stalking was clear evidence of some sort of inflated self-regard.

"You had a sense of entitlement and an expectation of subservience from her. The messages were cruel.

"She was the third woman who you have harassed over the past decade. This was a sustained course of quite deliberate behaviour."

Miss Kelly Scrivener, prosecuting, said the stalking started in June 2018 after the break up of a one year, on-off relationship, during which he sought to control her and his behaviour caused the police to be called out three times.

His campaign continued after the imposition of a non molestation order in September 2018 and carried on until he was arrested in May this year and made subject to bail conditions.

He accused one of her daughters of abusing her children, made allegations to the school where his ex-partner worked, and rang her while at work to tell her he was at her bungalow.

In a victim impact statement she said he was a misogynist who considered her intellectually inferior.

She said he was:"Totally arrogant and manipulative."

He has previous convictions for harassment and breaching restraining orders and in 2010 was banned from contacting his ex wife in Easingwold, Yorkshire, or two schools in the area where she worked.

Mr Ed Bailey, defending, said Hollins is now ashamed of his behaviour, which has ruined the reputation which he built up over a lifetime of service in education.

He said:"It is a complete embarrassment for him , with a distinguished background as an ex headmaster, to be in the dock in a Crown Court.

"It is a source of profound humiliation in terms of what he has achieved in his life.

"He became utterly besotted with his former partner from the moment he met her. His infatuation led to his blinkered behaviour.

"He could not let her go and was drawn into this abusive correspondence with her and her children.

"He accepts it was utterly unforgivable to threaten them in the way he did, knowing those threats would get back to her."

Mr Bailey said Hollins actions were partly caused by his suffering from bi-polar disorder.

He said his elderly mother is likely to have to go into a care home if he is sent to jail.