Son barred from contacting his parents for five years after constantly 'pestering' them for money
These days, it's quite common to hear people moaning about the millennial generation. Young folks are apparently too lazy, too spoilt, or too busy spending all their money on avocado on toast, instead of investing in the stock market. But is it really that clear-cut?
Sure, millennials may have access to more luxuries than previous generations, but, when it comes to essentials such as housing and education, those in their 20s and 30s have been dealt a bad hand. How are they supposed to move out of their parents' houses when rent is so high in proportion to the living wage? How are they supposed to start their own families when the gig economy gives them no time for a relationship? And how can they be expected to set aside funds for a rainy day when avocado on toast is so damn delicious?
In all seriousness, though, millennials do get a rough ride sometimes. But, as with all demographics, there are some people who are - quite simply - freeloading layabouts. Take 24-year-old Matthew Kerley for example, whose financial reliance on his parents got so bad that they literally took him to court over it.
This week, Kerley was handed a five-year restraining order by Southampton Magistrates' Court in the UK after his parents complained that his incessant requests for money were causing his parents severe stress and anxiety.
Kerley's mother and father, 60-year-old Paul and 51-year-old Coreen, had previously taken legal action against their son after he perpetually harassed them. Last year, Kerley was sentenced to 32 weeks in prison for his behaviour - but even that didn't stop him from pestering his parents.
Seeing no other option, Paul and Coreen got a court order to prevent Kerley from contacting them until 2023.
During the case, the prosecutor, Liam Hunt, gave a few details on what life was like for the couple while their son was constantly contacting them.
"He told his parents he had a job interview and needed to shave, but his shaver had broken halfway through," he said. "He asked his parents for money, which they gave him, but he then turned up with a full beard."
Hunt continued: "His pestering of his parents for money led to the harassment conviction last year, but this behaviour seems to have started up again. In one day last month, his parents received 30 calls. These have also been in the middle of the night. A number of messages have also been received criticising them, before asking yet again for money."
It is unclear whether Kerley has a job, and it is believed that his constant demands for cash were to feed his drug habit.
Speaking in his defence, however, Julie Macey said that Kerley's recent stint in prison had helped improve his behaviour somewhat.
"He is looking a lot healthier now than when I saw him three weeks ago," she said. "While he was not supposed to contact his parents, it was their bank account that his benefits were being sent to. Now, I believed that is fixed."
She continued: "He has a friend to go and stay with now, so things are looking up. He acknowledges he caused his parents a lot of stress and anxiety, and that it had to stop. Prison seems to have done him the world of good."
In addition to the restraining order, Kerley is required to complete 12 months of community service to account for his previous no-contact order violation.