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'Reprehensible' Serial woman abuser jailed for harassing mother of his child claims he's a 'changed man'

It emerged in court that Paul Ruck (30) has a string of convictions for harassing different women, common assault and making threats to kill

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Paul Ruck harassed his ex-partner

Paul Ruck harassed his ex-partner

Paul Ruck harassed his ex-partner

A serial woman abuser jailed last week for five months for harassing the mother of his child has claimed he’s a “changed man”.

Paul Ruck, described by a judge as “reprehensible”, waged a campaign against his former partner after she had fallen pregnant by him after which he started accusing her of seeing other men and sent her abusive messages calling her a “s**t” and a “w***e”.

The concerned woman told him to stop contacting her on November 7, 2020 but over the next two days he sent over 80 abusive messages, forcing the woman to contact the police.

The harassment was so bad the woman fled the area in fear he’d turn up at her house, Ballymena Magistrates’ Court heard this week.

It emerged in court that 30-year-old Ruck has a string of convictions for harassing different women, common assault and making threats to kill.

In jailing Ballymena man Ruck, Judge Nigel Broderick described him as having an “appallingly poor attitude to women” after it emerged there had been 15 separate complaints to police from various women over the years.

We discovered Ruck, who’s out on bail to appeal his sentence, has previous harassment convictions dating back to 2012 and another one in 2017, when he sent 29 pages of unwanted messages to a former partner he’d met on a dating site.

In that case, he told the woman he would harm himself if she didn’t go out with him again.

The Sunday World went to confront Ruck at the address on his charge sheet but found the home was vacant.

We tracked Ruck down to a hotel where he’s working as a kitchen porter and he told us he was “deeply ashamed” of his actions.

“I highly regret my actions, I’m deeply ashamed and shocked to read about the things I’ve done – I’m not that person any more,” said Ruck.

“We hadn’t been going out very long and she told me she was pregnant but then she disappeared.”

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Armagh man Paul Ruck harassed ex-girlfriend for longer than their eight-week relationship

Armagh man Paul Ruck harassed ex-girlfriend for longer than their eight-week relationship

Armagh man Paul Ruck harassed ex-girlfriend for longer than their eight-week relationship

 

Ruck says he insisted on his ex-partner taking a DNA test as he doubted he was the father but admits the test confirmed he was.

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“There were issues with contact with the baby and things got out of hand but nothing  excuses my actions.

“I don’t think the whole story came out in the court and I was shocked to hear she had been forced to leave Ballymena. But I know I should never have said those things. I’m hoping to get on with the rest of my life now, but I was shocked when the judge sent me to jail, I wasn’t expecting that.”

When asked why he had such a terrible record of harassing and abusing women he said: “I can’t explain it, I don’t know why I behaved like that.

“I am a better person now. I have a full-time job and a new house and hopefully the judge will decide to give me a last chance and not send me to jail.” District Judge Nigel Broderick told Ruck: “It is quite clear to the court that you have an appallingly poor attitude to females.

“That is evident from a number of factors. First of all, the facts of this case; secondly, the domestic abuse history in which there are 15 separate reports to police from females which make various allegations against you.

“And then there is your criminal record which has entries that are particularly relevant.”

He added: “You were given a chance to rehabilitate yourself by engaging in a very worthwhile probation programme called ‘Building Better Relationships’ but you failed to do so. The reason you have proffered is because you were immature.”

He said Ruck had an “appalling and reprehensible attitude to females which has resulted, no doubt, in significant emotional trauma, certainly in this case, and no doubt previously, physical trauma”.

A defence barrister told the court Ruck “accepts his behaviour was completely unacceptable” and after the woman had become pregnant there were “issues with Mr Ruck not being able to see his child”.

He said Ruck has addressed his substance misuse issues and through a change in circumstances had a “real chance” to be rehabilitated.

But the judge jailed him for five months — a sentence he is appealing next month.

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