DANVERS — A former North Shore man who made hundreds of calls to his former girlfriend, some threatening harm, after she took out a restraining order against him, will spend 18 months in jail, a Salem District Court judge ordered yesterday.
Christopher Boyd, 28, who was found guilty on a string of restraining order violations, threats and annoying phone calls, said through his attorney that he "lost his way emotionally" after learning that the 4-year-old child he believed to be his daughter was actually fathered by another man.
But prosecutors and the victim say Boyd was abusive throughout the couple's 14-year relationship, which started when they were teens, and that Boyd had once tried to force his girlfriend off the road as she was driving along Interstate 95. Another time, he threw her down a flight of stairs, prosecutor Heidi Sylvanowicz said.
After the woman, who is from Danvers, obtained a domestic restraining order against Boyd in the fall, Boyd called her 124 times in one day, including 80 calls to her work phone, which led to her boss sending her home for the day, Sylvanowicz told Judge Stephen Abany.
As the calls continued, a Danvers police officer answered one and warned Boyd. Boyd was subsequently arrested and released on bail with a warning to stop contacting the woman.
On Jan. 12, the woman, who still had a restraining order against Boyd, reported more calls and text messages from Boyd, some of which contained his name.
Police could not find Boyd, but the calls continued. On Jan. 23, a woman baby-sitting the victim's daughter reported that she received 10 calls in about a half-hour between 2 and 2:30 a.m. Three days after that, the victim received continuous phone calls, starting at 11:30 a.m. and continuing until she left work at 6 p.m.
He also sent emails, including one in which he told her, "So now I've got to drive to your work and cause a scene, or maybe I've got to go to (the home of the child's biological father)."
The following day she and her mother received more threatening calls, including one in which he threatened to vandalize her company car and kill the child's father, and warning her "enjoy the walk home, (expletive)."
Sylvanowicz said Boyd was "off the grid" for weeks, until police in the central Massachusetts town of Douglas, where Boyd has relatives, found him on Jan. 30.
"This is a clear case of an individual who can't understand that when someone files a restraining order, it means they don't want to be contacted," the prosecutor said.
The woman and her family were left in fear of Boyd for months, Sylvanowicz said.
Defense lawyer Paul Woods Jr. said Boyd, who has been held in custody since his arrest in January, is "quite remorseful."
"He realizes that this relationship is over," Woods said. "If he didn't get it before, he gets it now."
The judge, who at one point slapped his hand down on each of the six separate criminal cases, praised the victim's compassion in an impact statement, in which she said she hopes Boyd will get help for his emotional problems.
Abany imposed a 21/2-year jail term, with 18 months to be served and the balance suspended, along with three years of probation. Boyd will also have to take part in a batterer's treatment program, undergo mental health and substance abuse evaluations, and wear a GPS monitoring bracelet when he gets out of jail.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis may be reached at 978-338-2521 or at email@example.com.