A MAN breached a non-molestation order by offering condolences to his former partner on the loss of her aunty.

Blackburn magistrates heard Matthew Birtwistle also sent an e-mail asking for the return of an item of his property which constituted another breach.

Birtwistle, 37, of James Street, Great Harwood, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the order. He was fined £600 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £60 victim surcharge.

Malcolm Isherwood, prosecuting, said under the terms of the order Birtwistle was allowed to contact his former partner via text message to make child care arrangements, by e-mail to discuss child welfare and a video call each day to speak to their child.

At the end of one of the video calls he asked to speak to his former partner and offered his condolences on the death of her aunty. The next day he sent the e-mail asking for the return of property.

Damian Pickup, defending, said his client had no previous convictions and worked in a children's home.

"They had been in a relationship and he is the first to admit it was acrimonious split," said Mr Pickup. "At the very end of one of his daily video calls he said he was very sorry to hear about the death of his ex-partner's aunty, a lady he had been fond of. There are two breaches but I would ask you to take into account the nature of the breaches."

District Judge John McGarva said he accepted the offences were in the lowest category.

"They were non-threatening and you intentions were perfectly honourable," said District Judge McGarva.