A CHARD man who bombarded his ex with messages, phone calls and emails in a bid to win her back has been fined and given a restraining order.

Craig Marshall was unable to accept the break-up but ignored the victim’s pleas to leave her alone.

When she blocked his email account he would just create a new one and continue with the messages, the court was told.

Then they became more “vindictive” including one which referred to her mother being “proud” of her behaviour even though he knew she had passed away.

Marshall, 39, of Kents Road, Tatworth, pleaded not guilty that between April 6 and May 24 he pursued a course of conduct which amounted to the harassment of his former partner.

However, he was convicted of the offence by Somerset Magistrates when he stood trial before the court at Yeovil.

Prosecutor Suzie Butler said that the couple had been in a relationship for 18 months but the victim decided to end it.

After the break-up Marshall stayed in the same house but slept in separate rooms, however in March this year his behaviour started to cause her concern.

“He would leave her notes and messages with unwanted sexual advances so eventually she insisted he moved out,” she said.

“He left the address on April 6 but continued to make unwanted contact with her by phone and social media as well as in person so she reported the matter to the police.

“Marshall was told to cease all contact with her, however he still continued to do so.”

His behaviour began to escalate and he made attempts to engage others by contacting her friends and landlady.

“The victim was by now receiving contact about 20 times a day and she also received contact via the post which impacted on her work and mental health,” added Miss Butler.

In total she received over 200 messages from the defendant and he was then arrested by the police for harassment.

Giving evidence during the trial, the victim said that Marshall was trying to remain in contact with her and just wouldn’t give up.

“He would send me emails, letters in the post and turned up on a few occasions in person as well,” she said.

“He sent me messages on Facebook and WhatsApp saying how could I do this to him and said I was ripping his heart out.

“Some were a bit more vindictive including one where he said “Your mum would have been so proud of you”, knowing that she had passed away.”

She said she just wanted him to leave and did not want to have to go down the prosecution route.

On one occasion she blocked his email account but said he would just create another one and it got to the point where she was just deleting them before they had even been opened.

She said she was struggling to sleep at night and if she turned her phone off she knew there would be a message waiting for her in the morning.

“I was paranoid he would just turn up at the house and I started struggling with anxiety and also had counselling because I was struggling to concentrate,” she said.

“I was having to leave work early and it just really broke me down.”

When Marshall was arrested by police he was interviewed and made no comment to all questions asked of him.

He would not account for the contact he had with his ex or about the words of advice already given to him by the police.

The magistrates convicted Marshall of harassment and fined him £385 and ordered hm to pay the £775 trial costs and a £38 victim surcharge.

They also made him the subject of a 12 month restraining order during which time he must not contact the victim directly or indirectly except through a solicitor in respect of outstanding issues.