AN estranged man breached the terms of a restraining order for the third time by calling at the home of his former partner, last month.

Andrew Roger Stephenson was in a relationship with the woman for six years, until she called things off in March, last year.

Durham Crown Court was told he continued to try to contact her, so a non-molestation order was put in place, last June, which he breached within a week.

Anthony Pettengell, prosecuting, said the restraining order was then made, in July, prohibiting Stephenson from contacting his former partner or going to her home, in Croxdale, near Durham.

But he was caught on cctv entering her garden before knocking on the back door, on February 3, this year. When there was no answer he left, but it followed two previous breaches in September last year, for which he was subsequently fined £600.

Mr Pettengell said Stephenson’s past convictions include offences relating to previous partners.

Stephenson, 42, of Tudhoe Colliery, Spennymoor, admitted the latest breach of order recently before magistrates, who sent the case to be sentenced at the crown court.

Ayesha Smart, mitigating, said he has suffered some bad-mouthed insults himself in the community but now, “very much” accepts the relationship is over.

Recorder Chris Knox told Stephenson he is “old enough to know better” and imposed a three-month prison sentence, while he extended the restraining order to run for a further five years.