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Colin Hendry admits harassing ex-girlfriend Sarah Kinder

Published 03/08/2015

Colin Hendry captained Scotland in the 1998 World Cup
Colin Hendry captained Scotland in the 1998 World Cup

Former Scotland football captain Colin Hendry has admitted harassing his ex-girlfriend over a two-month period.

Hendry, 49, pleaded guilty to sending unwanted text messages and emails to beautician Sarah Kinder after she ended their relationship in March this year.

He also accepted that he made unwanted visits to her home in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, and twice threw stones at her bedroom window.

An allegation of common assault against Hendry was dropped after Ms Kinder retracted her statement in which the footballer was said to have grabbed her by the arm several times as she tried to get in a taxi.

Ms Kinder attended court but was not required to give evidence in a scheduled trial after the Crown offered no evidence on the assault charge.

Sentencing was adjourned until August 20 for the Probation Service to carry out a report.

Hendry, of Coopers Row, Lytham St Annes, was told the sentencing options ranged from a custodial sentence to a community order.

He began seeing Ms Kinder following the death of his wife Denise, 42, in 2009 following botched cosmetic surgery.

She broke off the relationship in late December 2014 but they were reunited on February 21 this year, the court was told.

Hendry received a 17-month ban from the road earlier this year after he admitted drink-driving in Lytham in the early hours of February 21.

He was previously reported to have "bombarded" Ms Kinder with text messages following the first split and was given a harassment order.

Ms Kinder went on to finally end the relationship on March 3 and Hendry's catalogue of harassment followed from that date until April 18.

Hendry enjoyed a long and successful playing career as a central defender and captained his country in the 1998 World Cup. He appeared for a series of clubs including Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers and Rangers.

Hendry's basis of plea was read to the court in which he explained he was "extremely upset and confused" by the March break-up.

He said he was "in something of an emotional turmoil" and did not want the relationship to end.

"I could not understand why Sarah would want to end the relationship again ... I was worried about her wellbeing."

But he accepted his behaviour which followed was "unacceptable on occasions", although he believed at the time the relationship was "retrievable".

He said he would check "if she was OK" by sometimes driving past her home and on one occasion entered her home through an unlocked front door.

Hendry said he saw Ms Kinder in two bars in Lytham on the evening of April 17 and later into the early hours of the next day.

He had been told she was "very drunk, upset and walking barefoot" and said he went over to help her as she got into a taxi.

"I went to make sure she was OK. I accept she did not want my help," he added.

Police witnessed the taxi incident and he was arrested.

In his basis of plea, Hendry went on: "I accept my relationship is over. I have absolutely no criticism of her (Ms Kinder) whatsoever. I wish her well."

He said he wished to apologise to her and added he was "embarrassed and truly sorry".

The court heard that Ms Kinder did not want a restraining order imposed against Hendry as, considering Lytham was a small place, she wanted to speak to him on "an amicable basis".

Paul Schofield, representing Hendry, said: "The assault has always been denied and indeed Ms Kinder's account supports my client's position."

Mitigation for Hendry will be heard on his sentencing date.

The ex-footballer was granted unconditional bail.

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