AMESBURY – A New Hampshire man who tracked down a local woman in 2019 and came to her home unannounced with "ice cream, champagne and condoms" was ordered by a Newburyport District Court judge Monday morning to stay out of the city for a year.
Jeffrey Barnes, 74, of Nashua, New Hampshire, admitted a judge or jury could find him guilty of disorderly conduct and saw the charge continued without a finding for a year.
During that time, Barnes must stay out of Amesbury, stay away from the victim, abide by all restraining orders and undergo a mental health evaluation. Two motor vehicle offenses that occurred when he drove away from the house and almost struck a police cruiser were also continued without a finding for a year.
According to court records, the victim’s teenaged son was home alone on Nov. 5, 2019, when he heard someone knocking on the door. Barnes began talking to the teen through a window and said he was looking for the teen’s mother. He told Barnes that she was not home so Barnes walked away toward his car.
The teen called his mother about Barnes, prompting her to call 911. By the time police Officer Shawn O’Brien and Sgt. David Noyes arrived, the woman had returned home and was comforting her son.
Noyes then saw a car without headlights on coming toward him.
“I don’t know how the vehicle squeezed by our cruisers as they were blocking most of the street. I attempted to flag down the vehicle as I illuminated it with my flashlight and yelled to the driver. The driver drove past me and then came to a stop and stuck his hand out the window and stated ‘It’s me, I’m the one you’re looking for,” Noyes wrote in his report.
Noyes went on to write that the street was “busy with pedestrians and the manner in which Barnes drove his vehicle placed everyone in danger, including myself.”
Still in his car, Barnes told Noyes that he was bringing the victim ice cream and showed him two containers.
“I also noticed a box of condoms in his door, flashlight in the center console and an unopened bottle of champagne on the rear seat floor,” Noyes wrote.
Noyes soon learned the victim had dealt with Barnes while working at a previous job and that her former employer had issued a no trespassing order against him after he caused problems there. The victim told Noyes that she had no relationship with Barnes at all.
“She was visibly upset that he came to her home and talked to her child,” Noyes wrote. “I asked him how he found her and he told me he looked her up on the computer.”
During Barnes' court appearance Monday, Essex County prosecutor Shailagh Kennedy told Judge Peter Doyle the victim wanted Barnes sentenced to five years probation, calling what happened "a terribly upsetting night for the family."
Barnes' attorney said it was not "inappropriate" to knock on someone's front door and ask if that person is home.
Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.