Man's 778 pages of phone threats to ex

A MAN devastated by the break-up of a relationship bombarded his former partner with 50 to 60 terrifying and abusive phone and text messages every day for a fortnight.

After a police interrogation of Scott Anthony Kingsbury's phones, the list of calls and the messages left ran to 778 pages, South Tyneside magistrates were told.

In the messages, Kingsbury, 27, accused his ex-partner of seeing another man and made threats to kill himself.

Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said Kingsbury, of Grasmere Road, Hebburn, and his partner had an 18-month old girl, and the calls started soon after they split up in May this year.

She felt so threatened and scared by his behaviour, she was frightened to be on her own and always surrounded herself with relatives.

She agreed Kingsbury could see his daughter but in one call, he claimed he was in London with the girl and wasn't coming back "until be felt like doing so".

Ms Beck said: "He was, in effect, using the child as a weapon against his former partner."

In one message, he called her a bitch and other names as well as pestering her for sex.

In one call, Kingsbury threatened to kill himself, adding: "I've taken the tablets. Take our daughter to my funeral."

In a victim's statement the woman said: " My confidence is low. I'm afraid to be on my own. He uses everything to harass me. He has threatened that matters will get worse. I'm so scared."

Kingsbury's solicitor, Vic Laffey, said: "This case has been going on since May and he hasn't seen his daughter since then.

"He has accepted he acted completely inappropriately. I'm tempted to use the word obsessive. But there was no face-to-face threats, and his behaviour was out of order.

"He was completely distressed at the breakdown of his relationship.

"He was devastated and has spent the last few months saving up to buy his daughter Christmas presents."

Kingsbury, who admitted harassment with violence, narrowly escaped going to prison after he was warned by magistrates at an earlier hearing they were considering locking him up for six weeks.

The court ordered a pre-sentence report from the Probation Service and after the magistrates read it, bench chairman Ken Buck told Kingsbury: "We feel only a custodial sentence is appropriate because of the distress you caused to your former partner and members of her family.

"You caused emotional stress and the messages were abusive and offensive. We are going to impose a custodial sentence of six weeks but we will suspend the sentence for two years."

The magistrates also imposed a restraining order banning Kingsbury from any contact with his former partner.

The order will stay in force until a further court order is made by a civil court.

Kingsbury was ordered to pay 85 court costs.