A CONTROLLING bully waged a "threatening and sinister" campaign of harassment against his former partner and her family after the couple split up.

Gary Dunn recruited his new wife Rebekah to help threaten and intimidate the woman and her parents and set up fake Facebook accounts to try to hide the fact it was them behind it.

Dunn, 37, was already on a suspended sentence for identical behaviour in 2015 and was meant to be barred from contacting his ex by a restraining order.

But the jobless factory worker ignored the court ruling – and in one message said: "Revenge in mind. Not giving a f*** about law and order. World War Three will start."

Dunn's former partner had to move home three times to keep away from him, but he continued to post public messages making sexual slurs against her and her new boyfriend.

When he received the suspended sentence, he had threatened to make their son an orphan and petrol-bomb her parent's home, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Paul Cleasby said: "Regrettably, the criminal proceedings did not have the desired effect and the defendant continued his campaign of harassment and intimidation.

"It seems he recruited or manipulated his partner – now his wife – to assist in setting up pseudo Facebook accounts with one purpose in mind, to continue the campaign of stalking."

One message said: "Big brother is watching. You should change your routines. This is too easy, sitting ducks. Yes, beg for you life, because it's your life we're taking."

Dunn and his wife, 32, of Low Grange Avenue, Billingham, both admitted stalking, and he admitted breaching the restraining order.

He was jailed for four years, and she was given a three-year community order after Judge Peter Armstrong ruled she was manipulated by her husband.

He told Dunn: "This was a deliberate and sustained campaign. It was sophisticated and it was targeted to cause the maximum distress – and it had that effect."

Robin Denny, for Dunn, said: "Obviously this is a case where there is considerable bitterness. He has lost his employment."

Ayesha Smart, for his wife, added: "What is quite clear is she is a vulnerable and is extremely fearful for the consequences for her husband, who is her carer."

The court heard how Rebekah Dunn has post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

She wept as Judge Armstrong told her: "I am quite sure that you were used by Gary Dunn, who was manipulating you in this scheme."