A man who obsessively stalked a woman after feeling “disrespected” on Facebook has been jailed for two years.

Earlier this year, Gavin Ewan Robinson, from County Durham, sent dozens of abusive Facebook messages in the early hours of the morning to his victim, threatening at one point to split her head open with an axe.

The 28-year-old Robinson continued to send abusive messages and voice calls, leaving the victim so afraid that she changed her routine to make sure she was not walking home from work at unsociable hours.

But after months of torment and escalating threats - culminating in the offender turning up at the victim's Seaham workplace - Robinson has been jailed. 

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He will remain behind bars for two and a half years. 

The victim did not know Robinson before the threatening messages began, but when a friend pointed him in the street, she realised she had served him at her place of work.

He had also since been to the shop and just stared at her then left without buying anything.

On another occasion, he had followed her home from work and sat on a wall outside her address.

The threats continued on Facebook messenger and in May, Robinson sent her a voice message in the early hours saying he would turn up to her work with a blade.

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As he had promised, the next day he did turn up to her work, prompting the victim to call the police.

Robinson, of no fixed abode, was arrested on suspicion of stalking involving fear of violence and possessing a controlled drug after cannabis was seized during his arrest.

In an interview with police, he claimed he had taken offence to comments made by his victim and her partner on Facebook two years earlier and became fixated with them, wanting them to feel how he did.

Appearing at Durham Crown Court on August 4, Robinson pleaded guilty to both charges and was sentenced to a total of two-and-a-half-years in prison.

The victim was also granted a lifetime restraining order.

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Detective Inspector Darren Wild, of the Peterlee CID Team, said: “Robinson’s behaviour was extremely concerning and completely unacceptable.

“We hope this sentence will bring some peace of mind to his victim and serve as a reminder that we take these offences extremely seriously and will pursue those offenders who make others, particularly women and girls, feel unsafe.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from stalking or harassment, report it to us on 101, or call the National Stalking helpline on 0808 802 0300.