A MAN obsessed with a woman he barely knew turned up at night outside her family home, singing rap songs and howling.

Chris Luke carried out a campaign of harassment against the woman who last vaguely recalled him as a ten-year-old.

Luke bombarded the woman, by then a student at a university away from the North-East, with numerous unwanted social media messages expressing his undying love for her.

When she failed to respond, the messages became more intense, some expressing “mawkish” sentimentality, others either taking an abusive, threatening or sexual tone.

Durham Crown Court heard that as it went on, the delusional defendant’s “bizarre” behaviour saw him turning up at night outside her family home in Chester-le-Street, singing rap songs and sometimes just howling.

Tom Mitchell, prosecuting. said the woman’s family complained to police about his actions, but Luke responded by knocking coping stones off the wall outside their house.

When the case finally resulted in a court appearance, Luke threw a lump of concrete through a window of a car parked just outside their house.

It culminated in his arrest and he was remanded in custody as the case was committed to the crown court for sentence.

Luke, 24, formerly of Eddleston, in Rickleton, Washington, now of no fixed address, admitted harassment, witness intimidation and criminal damage.

Mr Mitchell said it began with Luke sending a message out of the blue on social media, in November, 2017, stating: “I swear to God I’ve put loads of effort in for you. You are the only person I want to be with.”

Mr Mitchell said: “At the core of this he clearly believed, and intimated, he knew her better than she knew him.

“She barely remembered him at all and only briefly when she was ten. Otherwise, she’s had no contact with him at all.

“But it does appear Chris Luke was obsessed with her.”

Mr Mitchell said it had the effect of making her unwilling to come home out of term-time.

Jessica Heggie, mitigating, said: “It’s undeniable what he’s put them through due to this course of conduct.

“His delusions were contributed to by his abuse of alcohol.”

But she said he has since taken steps to curb his alcohol intake.

Judge Jonathan Carroll said it was “nonsense” to suggest that because the woman never responded to Luke’s messages that she encouraged him.

He told Luke her family had to endure his “lengthy and persistent” course of harassment, which became more threatening in nature, in part borne out of his immaturity.

Jailing him for a year for the intimidation and damage, with an added 14 weeks for the harassment, the judge also put in place a ten-year restraining order forbidding Luke from approaching or contacting the family.