England news March 25, 2013

Barnett pleads guilty to harassment charge

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kim Barnett, the former county stalwart and briefly England batsman, has been found guilty of harassing his ex-wife and fined £380.

Barnett, 52, played four Tests for England in 1988 and 1989 and was also man of the match in his only ODI. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was also ordered to pay £250 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

In September last year, he left a picture of his ex-wife Janet in his car in Leek, where she also lives, alongside a picture of a witch under the slogan "which is witch?" He also admitted driving his car past his ex-wife's home despite having been issued with a harassment warning in April.

Barnett enjoyed a 25-year career in which he scored 28,593 first-class runs at 40.38 for Derbyshire and Gloucestershire. But after his retirement in 2003, his marriage broke down and he and his wife separated a year later.

Newcastle-under-Lyme magistrates heard that Barnett was suffering from mental health issues following his divorce in 2010.

Defence solicitor David Green told the court that Barnett was an "impeccable" character who found the divorce extremely difficult to deal with. "These incidents occurred in the aftermath of the break-up and everything else that happened as a result of that," Green said.

"We have two incidents on two separate days which are in my submission quite bizarre, but also in some ways quite childish." Green stressed that Barnett's actions were "ill-thought out" and did not involve any direct contact with his ex-wife.

Barnett captained Derbyshire to the 1993 Benson and Hedges Cup and was a part of the Gloucestershire side that dominated one-day cricket at the turn of the century. In 1989 he was named as one of Wisden's five Cricketers of the Year.