A MAN struggling to cope with the break-down of a relationship who bombarded his former partner with text messages and phone calls has been spared jail.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard how Mark Anthony Pedder also turned up at her house and was seen driving past first thing in the morning between May 24 and 29.

Pedder, 34, of Manor Street, Nelson, pleaded guilty to two charges of stalking.

He was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison, suspended for 24 months, with 30 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days.

He was also made subject to a restraining order for two years and ordered to pay £150 costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

Scott Parker, prosecuting, said after the victim decided to end their long-standing relationship things had initially been civil between them.

"He would come to the house to see the children but then arguments started," said Mr Parker.

"She said she didn't want him at the house and after that the phone calls and text messages started."

Mr Parker detailed days when up to 60 messages and 66 calls were made.

On one day she received 246 Facebook contacts and 49 texts between 7.40am and 4pm.

"They were all suggesting there was a man in he house," said Mr Parker.

In a victim personal statement she said she was suffering emotionally and it was "draining" her.

Richard Prew, in mitigation, said his client had spent three weeks in custody as a result of breaching bail conditions.

"The time he has spent in custody has given him the chance to think about everything that has been going on in his life," said Mr Prew.

"He found it difficult to accept the relationship had ended. He appreciates that what he has done was totally unacceptable."