A MAN stopped by a police officer over potential motoring offences made comments on three occasions about the constable’s wife, each by name, having researched his family circumstances, a court heard.

David Morton is said to have left a note in which he made indecent comments about the officer’s wife two days later, knowing police would call at his home address, on Sunday May 17.

Appearing via video link from Durham Prison to a plea and trial preparation hearing, at the city’s crown court, sitting at Newcastle, the 28-year-old defendant admitted stalking, causing serious alarm or distress, over the course of conduct between May 14 and 18 this year.

But Morton denied a second charge, over the sending of an electronic communication with intent to cause distress or anxiety.

He is accused of sending an indecent or grossly offensive message, which he knew to be false, with the aim of causing distress or anxiety, also on May 17.

The message is said to have been sent from a mobile phone, but Morton denies responsibility.

Having heard those pleas, Chris Baker, prosecuting, said they were not accepted by the Crown and the case would have to be settled at trial.

A two-day fixture was agreed for the contested hearing, which will be staged at the court, in Durham, where sittings resume tomorrow.

Morton, of Jane Street, Stanley, was remanded in custody pending the start of the trial, on October 14.