A man who harassed his former partner, sending her abusive messages and repeatedly turning up at her home has been released from custody.

Michael Hunt, 49, bombarded his ex with abusive messages after a row at her home in Southampton, a court heard.

Following this, Hunt became “angry and aggressive”, shouting at her and “demanding to know why she was speaking to him like this”.

His former partner, who is around 20 years younger than Hunt, asked him to leave her alone.

But having heard that the police had been called, Hunt returned to his ex’s home, labelling her and another woman as 'grasses'.

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Despite being arrested, questioned and released on bail with conditions not to contact her though, the abuse continued.

Hunt, of Sharon Road, West End, Southampton, continued to turn up at the property on multiple occasions including on October 30 when he was “agitated about the bail conditions”.

He was arrested again but told the woman: “See you soon babe.”

Once released on bail again, he returned on November 12, 2023, prompting his ex to use an alarm provided to her by the police.

On December 8, 2023, he started calling her, shouting down the phone at her and calling her a grass.

When arrested again, he denied that the bail was anything to do with the previous incidents, and attempted to accuse the police officer of harassing him.

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Prosecuting, Keely Harvey, told the court: “She was also contacting him. She felt that she had to respond in an attempt to stop him from coming around the house.

“This clearly had an effect on her throughout this period.”

The couple had been in a relationship on and off for around ten years.

Ms Harvey added that there is a “history of abuse towards her” but said the victim does not want a restraining order as she “Feels like it would put too much stress on the relationship.”

Hunt was sentenced to five months imprisonment having pleaded guilty to harassment.

The offences were committed between July 30, 2023 and December 9, 2023.

He was released from custody having served more than five months on remand awaiting sentence.

Judge Christopher Parker KC added: “The defendant has rightly served then more than he could receive by way of a custodial sentence.

“You pleaded guilty to the offence of harassment as indeed you would have to do given the evidence that was in place against you.

“[It is a] completely unacceptable way in which you have been behaving. All of your past offending has been in respect of the same woman.

“That is not a manly way to behave. It is bullying. For my part, I am bound to say that she ought to have a restraining order because there is no guarantee you are going to behave any better when you are released.

“Just grow up and behave like a man. If you come back here for any offence of violence especially violence towards a woman then you will end up with a very long sentence.

“I don’t want to see you again Mr Hunt.”

He will now be subject to 12 months post-sentence supervision.