A WAREHOUSE operator sent abusive Facebook messages and threatened to kill his ex-partner after she broke up with him on Valentine’s Day, a court heard.

James Routledge also tried to force his way into the woman's home by kicking the door and trying the window handles, while the young mother cowered in fear.

The 21-year-old, of Langton Walk, Darlington, pleaded guilty to harassment with fear of violence and a further charge of harassment without violence at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court today (Wednesday, March 12).

John Garside, prosecuting, said the victim had finally ended the relationship on Friday, February 14, after enduring months of “controlling and jealous behaviour.”

“He was setting rules in her home and had given her a curfew,” said Mr Garside.

“He was constantly asking where she was and who she was with. She wasn’t allowed to see family or friends and was isolated and depressed.”

Routledge first appeared in court for the offence on Wednesday, February 19, and the case was adjourned for probation reports.

Today (Wednesday), the court heard how Routledge had breached his bail conditions by setting up a false Facebook account to contact the victim.

Robert Willougby, mitigating, said Routledge, who has no previous convictions, had struggled to cope after the relationship broke down.

“He now accepts the relationship is over,” said Mr Willoughby. “It has taken a long time for him to come to that conclusion.”

Routledge was sentenced to a 12-month community order with probation supervision and was ordered to pay £100 compensation and court costs of £50.

A five-year restraining order was also imposed.