A 26-YEAR-old man bombarded his ex-partner with more than 9,400 e-mails as he constantly harassed her following the break down of their relationship.

Blackburn magistrates heard Daniel Lee Busuttil told Louise Gardner he would "annihilate and destroy her".

She felt he was still trying to control her life as he called her up to 120 times a day as well as contacting her and members of her family through various forms of social media.

And the court heard how she developed a gym and fat burn addiction which resulted in her losing three stones in weight. She said it gave her something to focus on and made her feel better about herself but friends and family were concerned she had an eating disorder as her weight fell.

Busuttil, of Eldon Place, Eccles, pleaded guilty to harassing Miss Gardner between October 2016 and April 2017.

He was sentenced to eight weeks in prison suspended for two years and made subject to an indefinite restraining order prohibiting him from having contact with Miss Gardner or her family and entering Albert Street in Oswaldtwistle where she lives.

Passing sentence, the chairman of the magistrates said it had been a "protracted and horrible" harassment which had resulted in great trauma to the victim and others.

"You caused her a great deal of distress and I can tell you that if you had any kind of a record you wouldn't be going home today. That has kept you out of prison for the time being," the chairman said.

Enza Geldard, prosecuting, said Busuttil had phoned Miss Gardner at work, messaged her sister and her grandmother and other members of her family.

The victim told police; "All this has made me feel like my head was going to explode."

Elisabeth Sydall, defending, said her client concedes that he dealt with the breakdown of the relationship in a "regrettable manner."

"Clearly the contact was excessive but it has not been entirely one way," said Miss Sydall. "A number of unpleasant messages were sent back but that does not excuse the contact he has had with her."

Miss Sydall said Busuttil accepted the relationship was over and did not oppose the application for a restraining order.