A MAN from St Osyth, who in one day, harassed a woman and stole her car, used violence to break into a stranger’s home and racially assaulted an innocent restaurant worker has been sentenced.

Alan Merry, 33, of South Close, received four years in prison and a further four years on licence for harassment at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday, Friday, March 15.

He also received 18 months for racially aggravated assault, six months for another count of harassment, six months for taking a motor vehicle without consent and four months for violent entry, all to run concurrently. He was also sentenced for driving without a licence.

On August 17, 2018, Merry breached a restraining order by attending a woman’s home.

He then demanded that she drive him to a relatives' address and the victim agreed after fearing for her safety.

During the journey he ripped her handbag off her and searched her possessions and when they arrived, Merry took her car keys to stop her driving off.

The woman was some distance away from home and hid from Merry. She called a taxi to collect her and she was taken to a friend’s address.

However, she was tricked into coming back to her car by Merry after he posed as a concerned relative after using their phone.

The woman pleaded with Merry to allow her to return back home and he agreed on the basis that he would return with her. When they arrived close to her address, the woman managed to escape but had her car stolen.

Merry drove off and began searching for her.

He forced entry to a stranger’s home in Clacton after believing the address belonged to a friend of the victim’s. The occupants, a woman and her children, had no knowledge of the victim.

At around 9.15pm that day, Merry entered McDonalds, in Colchester Road, Weeley, and became aggressive and started shouting and swearing.

A worker challenged him on his behaviour and he racially abused her and assaulted her.

We managed to locate the stolen car to the restaurant and arrested Merry.

Investigating officer DC Claire Lukey, of Clacton’s Domestic Abuse Team, said: “Merry actions were very distressing and they have had a long lasting impact on his victims.

"The domestic element of his crime was prolonged and he caused the victim to fear for her safety.

"She bravely went to court today and has shown an enormous amount of bravery throughout this case.

"Merry also forced entry to a stranger’s home and also assaulted a woman who was simply doing her job. I also want to thank the victims for their support throughout our investigations and I hope that they will get some comfort knowing Merry has been sent to prison.”