A MAN with a history of domestic abuse crept into the bedroom on a woman three times in a week, a court heard.

On the first occasion Neil Raynor forced a window open before making his way to the victim’s bedroom where the woman awoke to find him standing over her in the early hours of the morning.

Teesside Crown Court heard that he returned two days later but he was disturbed when the victim’s daughter heard him creeping along the landing and shouted to warn her mother.

And on the third occasion, the 42-year-old managed to get into her bedroom and again the victim awoke to find him standing over her bed.

Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, said the number of times the defendant entered her home was to maximise the ‘fear and distress’ caused to her.

“You could come to the conclusion that it has caused her serious distress,” he said. “She has made it clear that she wants the defendant to leave her alone.”

The court heard how Raynor had received a community order for similar offences and had been issued with a fine for breaching the order just days before he targeted his victim.

In mitigation, Nicci Horton, said Raynor had been struggling with the loss of his son three years ago and he had been released from prison following his arrest to attend the funeral of his mother.

She said: “His mother’s house was not her own, it was a council house, and he is now facing being evicted from that house. He is trying to find somewhere to live and somewhere to put his mother’s belongings.”

She added: “In the past he has relied on alcohol and is trying to get some help. He has been trying to do it on his own, but he has been unable to do that.”

Jailing Raynor for 18-months for the stalking offence, Judge Stephen Ashurst told the defendant that risk of him re-offending was so high that immediate custody was the only option.

He pointed out that Raynor had offended just days after being fined for breaching his previous community order saying: "Any sensible person would have thought that you would have had the good sense to behave yourself in the future.

"You conduct has caused very serious alarm and distress and it was petrifying for you victim."

He added: “She is solely concerned about being left alone so she suffers no more distress, nor her family. Her concern is that even though you have been warned, you won’t keep away.”

Raynor, of Welwyn Close, Thornaby, was also given a concurrent two-month sentence for criminal damage and an indefinite restraining order.

The judge added: “I’m alarmed by the level of risk in your case; you are someone who has not really learned from your past mistakes.”