A PERVERT who bombarded a woman with offensive messages on Instagram, including pictures of his genitals, has avoided a prison sentence.

Tyler Clarke posted a series of bizarre and offensive messages on the victim's social media account over a two-month period last year.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the case against the 24-year-old was delayed while psychiatric reports were carried out.

Sam Faulks, prosecuting, said Clarke was arrested while he was a patient at Roseberry Park mental health hospital.

He said the rambling messages included sending a picture of one of the complainant's female friends saying 'another s*** gone' and 'all scared to have sex with me'.

Mr Faulks said Clarke then sent a picture of himself holding his genitals and sent it to the woman.

The victim received dozens of messages between October and November last year and one included a reference to one of her relatives.

In a police interview, she said: "When the male asked me that, I was shocked, I thought he was being weird.

"She is my cousin and only 20-years-old, I couldn't understand how he knew how I was connected to her. I was concerned as to why he mentioned her name.

"I responded back and then the male sent three messages saying 'she's dead, bleeding from the head'. I thought it was a fake account and thought the bloke was messing around."

Mr Faulks said he then sent her a number of abusive messages and asked if she wanted to see pictures of his 'd***'.

The court heard the defendant has a previous conviction for harassment.

Clarke, of Hartington Road, Stockton, pleaded guilty to sending malicious communications and harassment.

Andrew Turton, in mitigation, said his client was responding well to medical treatment.

Judge Chris Smith sentenced Clarke to an 18-month community order and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days for the persistent nature of his behaviour.

"This defendant has a degree of luck in that the victim is perhaps a little bit more robust than other people might be but nevertheless she has been left feeling anxious by this troubling behaviour," he said.

"You bombarded her with a series of bizarre and at times frightening or offensive messages, including photographs of your own genitalia.

"This was worrying behaviour which left her feeling particularly worried and distressed."

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated Teesside Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054