A JILTED husband who bombarded his wife with text messages after they separated has been spared jail.

But Ian Robinson, 36, was warned by a judge that he will be locked up if there is any repeat of his harassment of his former partner, Victoria.

A court heard yesterday that some texts sent by Robinson to the mother-of-five were threatening and abusive.

Jonathan Walker, prosecuting, said five messages were also in breach of a restraining order imposed last October, which barred Robinson from contacting his ex-wife.

Robinson, of Croft Rigg, Brandon, County Durham, admitted breaching the order five times between October last year and March.

Judge Peter Armstrong gave Robinson a two-year community rehabilitation order and a 100-hour community punishment order.

The judge told him: "It really is time you grew up.

"To harass her the way you did caused considerable distress and it is necessary to punish you for that, but I am going to step back from the threshold of custody today even though these offences warrant custody."

Tom Mitchell, mitigating, said: "These offences were committed by a man labouring under the unholy trinity of prescription medication, alcohol and self-pity."

Teesside Crown Court heard Robinson has not contacted his ex-wife since March, has moved away from their home town of Bishop Auckland and is in a new relationship.