A classical music singer lost her position as a lecturer after being harassed by her possessive ex-boyfriend, who was enraged that she had moved her mother into their house.
42-year-old Oleksandra Antonova was left living in fear after 37-year-old Robert Pugh hounded her with phone calls, showed up uninvited with flowers at her home, and waited for hours at her workplace.
The choir director of Ukrainian descent from Denton, Greater Manchester, said she eventually lost her job as a music instructor at Tameside College due to anxiety created by the abuse.
Pugh ‘persuaded’ Miss Antonova to let him move into a flat she had purchased, and he became enraged when she brought her Ukrainian mother in, claiming that’she doesn’t even understand English.’
In a phone conversation, Pugh was cited as stating, “Don’t think I can’t reach you, I can get you anywhere,” to which Miss Antonova responded, “Please stop chasing me.”
42-year-old Oleksandra Antonova lived in fear after 37-year-old Robert Pugh hounded her with phone calls, showed up at her home unannounced with flowers, and showed up at her office simply to see her.
Her obsessive ex-boyfriend Pugh (shown on the left) cautioned her, “Don’t think I can’t find you; I can find you anywhere.”
The concert pianist mother of one told authorities, “Since this individual entered my life, I’ve experienced anxiety and depression. I feel really insecure in my own home, and all I want to do is resume my normal life without him. My personality has changed significantly.
Manchester Pugh, who lives with his parents in Prescot, near Liverpool, pled guilty to harassment at the Minshull Street Crown Court and was prohibited from contacting Miss Antonova for five years under the provisions of a restraining order.
The court heard that the couple met around Christmas 2020 and lived together temporarily.
Tom Sherrington, the prosecutor, stated, “At first, there was genuine fondness in the connection.” However, the relationship altered in May 2021 when the defendant became enraged because Oleksandra had guests without his knowledge.
She purchased a home in Denton in July 2021, and after much prodding, she allowed Pugh to move in with her. A few months later, though, Oleksandra requested her older Ukrainian mother to join them in the residence.
The concert pianist mother of one told authorities, “Since this individual entered my life, I’ve experienced anxiety and depression.”
This did not sit well with the defendant, who protested that “she doesn’t even speak English.” Additionally, he asserted that the home was more his than her mother’s.
“On January 1, the defendant called the police for the first time after becoming irritated that Oleksandra and her mother wanted to eat Ukrainian food in the house and he felt excluded.
This sparked a confrontation between the two, which culminated with Pugh throwing a bottle of gin at Oleksandra. She locked herself in the bathroom, but he opened the door with a coin, prompting her mother to intervene and separate them.
‘After this, they spent some time apart, but Pugh kept showing up with flowers, pleading with her to take him back.
“One day, in an effort to prevent her from leaving her home, Pugh leapt into her car and dumped coffee on her.” He then got in his automobile and blocked her escape from the driveway by driving up to her vehicle.
The prosecutor, Tom Sherrington, stated, “The first occurrence of a police callout occurred on January 1 when the defendant grew irritated because Oleksandra and her mother wanted to eat Ukrainian food in the home and he felt excluded.”
She developed the habit of locking herself in the bathroom while they were both at home to avoid him.
Mr. Sherrington continued, ‘The defendant also frequently attended the institution where she taught classical music. According to witnesses, he waited there for hours to see her. Once, she kept track of 38 missed calls and many messages from him. Then, she blocked his phone number.
In one phone call, the defendant was overheard saying, “Don’t think I can’t reach you, I can reach you anywhere.” She pleaded, “Stop chasing me!”
Oleksandra stated in her victim statement that she abandoned all of her other family in Ukraine and refused to tell her family and friends about the relationship. She stated that he insisted throughout their relationship that she could trust him, but she was eventually diagnosed with anxiety due to her inability to cope with the situation.
Mr. Sherrington stated, “The defendant also frequently attended the institution where she taught classical music.”
He continued to gas light her when she became worried and advised her to continue taking her medication. He demanded continual care. As a result of her anxiousness and the police inquiry into her connection, she lost her job.’
In mitigation, defense attorney Martin Sharpe stated that Pugh’s character references described him as “shy, quiet, and courteous.”
He continued, “We’re dealing with a 37-year-old “boy” whose emotional man is restricted.” He acknowledges that he intended for his actions to cause the victim some distress. According to his probation report, he has difficulties understanding emotional ideas.
Pugh was also ordered to undergo a rehabilitation program titled ‘Building Better Relationships’ and given a suspended sentence of five months in prison, suspended for 18 months. Throughout the sentence, he refused to acknowledge the facts by shaking his head.
Pugh was also ordered to undergo a ‘Building Better Relationships’ rehabilitation program and given a suspended jail sentence of five months.
The justice Miss Recorder Abigail Hudson informed him, “I am troubled by your behavior and what you did.” It is evident that you do not comprehend when your behavior becomes oppressive. It is evident that she does not want you there, and it appears to me that this young man has to mature.’
According to her LinkedIn page, Miss Antonova, who received her education at Kharkiv National University of Arts, the premier music and theatrical institution of higher education in Ukraine, earned the highest level of grade eight in piano and was a choral conductor and choirmaster.
After migrating to the United Kingdom, she sang in the Manchester chamber choir before becoming a singing lecturer at Tameside college in 2016. She is also the director of a nearby acting school.