A MAN told a former partner “I hope you die at Christmas” and also bombarded her with 600 text messages – some abusive - in a two week period, a court heard.

Michael Bowmer, who also damaged locks at the victim’s home, was described by a judge as being responsible for frightening and persistent behaviour.

The 45-year-old, of Catherine Close, Spennymoor, County Durham, admitted harassment and breaching a restraining order when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court via a video link.

His victim said she had been scared as to what Bowmer might do next and said she got a “sickening feeling” each time he rang.

She also said the tyres on her car had been slashed, although she was not sure Bowmer was responsible.

The defendant was said to have got in touch with the woman again when he was at a low ebb after losing his job and home.

But he now accepted the relationship was over and had moved on.

Judge Howard Crowson made Bowmer subject to a new five year restraining order, warning him: “If you breach it again, you will go to prison again”.

After hearing Bowmer had already spent time in custody, he gave him a four month jail sentence, suspended for a year.