A man who left his ex-partner fearing for her life after he bombarded her with hundreds of calls and tried to force his way into her home has been jailed.

Joe Abbott was so obsessed with the woman that he called her work phone 63 times in an hour during his stalking campaign when he refused to accept their relationship was over.

The 28-year-old was arrested outside Darlington police station when his victim went there with work colleagues to report the continual harassment.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Abbott was made subject of a stalking prevention order following his arrest in October last year but breached it within two days of it being imposed.

Jenny Haigh, prosecuting, said Abbott’s behaviour had left his victim terrified and contemplating suicide after he tried to force his way into her home while he was in a highly distressed state.

She told the court how the defendant had been in a relationship with his victim for five years before they separated but got back together after she suffered a miscarriage of their child.

“The defendant didn’t take the break very well, there were elements of harassment, he would text her, call her and turn up at her address unannounced,” she said.

Miss Haigh said Abbott had two previous police warnings for harassing the victim and causing criminal damage in her home.

She said his controlling behaviour increased when they got back together and he would consistently demand to know where she was, what she was doing and asking for pictures as proof.

In October last year, Abbott called the woman’s work 63 times in an hour after she blocked him on social media before turning up at her home and trying to force his way in.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: “I don’t think he will ever leave me alone and I will die, whether I jump off a bridge or he kills me.”

The Northern Echo: Joe AbbottJoe Abbott (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Abbott, of Yarm Road, Darlington, pleaded guilty to stalking and breach of a stalking prevention order.

Vincent Ward, mitigating, said his client had been able to reflect on his behaviour while he has been on remanded for two months since his arrest.

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He added: “He has shown significant remorse in that time.”

Recorder Richard Herrman sentenced Abbott to two years in prison for the damage that his stalking behaviour had inflicted on his victim.

He said: “She believed that if you got into her house when you tried to force your way in that you would have killed her.”

Abbott was made subject of a five-year restraining order and was reminded he was still bound by a seven-year stalking prevention notice.