An aggrieved man who rang his estranged partner to hurl abuse was shocked to find himself talking to a police officer.
John Paul Jones, 32, made a string of abusive calls to his former girlfriend - unaware that she had called the police after the first one.
His outbursts led to him being sentenced to six weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, including an alcohol treatment programme and being ordered to pay £415 in fines and costs at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.
Angela Narey, prosecuting, said: “The calls quickly turned aggressive, threatening and unpleasant. Jones told the woman to watch what would happen when he turned her life into hell.
“There was also a threat to assault her mother’s partner with a baseball bat. The last call was answered by a police officer.”
Jones, of Commercial Road, South Shields, admitted making a malicious communication on December 13 and also admitted criminal damage on February 4.
Ms Narey said the incident in February saw Jones smash the front window of a neighbour’s house was smashed with a baseball bat after he asked the occupants for a lift but the request was declined.
Michelle Stoneleigh, defending, said: “There was a series of unpleasant phone calls and texts, but he never had any intention of acting on any of the threats. The relationship is now back on again.
“There is a background to the smashing of the window, but the common factor in all this is drink to which Mr Jones is addicted.”