A WOMAN who believed she had found a kind and caring partner via a dating app, only discovered his violent criminal past when police knocked on her door looking for him.

Bolton Crown Court heard that Kyle Cook was so controlling that his partner became terrified of him.

Adam Lodge, prosecuting, told how 33-year-old Cook, from Accrington, met his victim online in August last year.

She had no idea about his history or that he was on licence at the time after being released from prison.

“At first the defendant was very supportive. He was very patient and understanding,” said Mr Lodge.

Cook began staying at the victim’s Little Lever, Bolton, home, helping with her children.

“She describes herself as becoming dependant upon the defendant very quickly,” said Mr Lodge.

“She says there was nothing about him which gave her cause for concern.”

It was only in September, after a visit from police to her home, that Cook, of Peel Park Avenue, Accrington, admitted he was on probation and should not have been living at her address.

She ordered him to leave but after he told her he was living in his mother’s shed, she felt sorry for him and allowed him to return.

Police visited the house several times.

“He told her to answer the door and say she hadn’t seen him,” said Mr Lodge, who said the woman claims she became “trapped” by Cook.

“He would challenge people in the street and then tell her how he had organised a group of friends in the past to turn up to people’s houses and have them beaten up.

“She was worried that if she were to end the relationship that something similar would happen to her and her children.”

Mr Lodge told how the woman was suspicious that he was cheating on her but afraid to confront him about it.

He would fly into a rage demanding supper even though he had refused it earlier, monitored her phone conversations with friends, follow her around the house, intercept her post and turned off the wifi as punishment.

“Every day he would ‘flip’ over something small. She describes herself as walking on eggshells around the defendant, not knowing what was going to set him off next,” said Mr Lodge.

In November police visited her.

“It was at that time that she learnt, for the first time about the defendant’s history of violent criminal activity,” said Mr Lodge.

Social workers told her that he should not be around children but Cook continued to live at the house.

After Cook became so angry he ripped a cupboard door off and smashed cups, the woman told a neighbour what was happening and, a few days later, asked them to contact police.

He was aggressive when arrested and had to be restrained with pava spray, handcuffs and leg restrained.

He was released later, sending multiple messages to his victim and continued to make threats to her.

Police were contacted and went to Accrington to arrest him again, during which he verbally racially abused two officers.

Cook, appearing in court via a video link from prison, pleaded guilty to using coercive or controlling behaviour and two counts of racially aggravated intentionally using threatening or abusive behaviour. He has 42 previous convictions for 83 offences.

Joe Allman, defending, told Judge Graeme Smith: “His previous convictions do him no favours and reflect poorly on him.

“His problems, many though they are, stem from his obvious thought deficiencies.”

He added that since Cook’s father died in 2010 he has battled with his mental health but has ambitions to become a rail engineer.

Sentencing him to 16 months in prison, Judge Graeme Smith told Cook: "You have a very bad record, particularly in relation to non-compliance with court orders that are designed to protect people."

Cook denied that he was racist but the judge told him: "Somebody who continues using racist language over a long period of time cannot really be described as anything else.

"In our society, such behaviour is utterly unacceptable."

A restraining order was made banning him from contacting his former partner.