A DAD-of-two banned from contacting his ex-wife phoned her while detained in a secure psychiatric ward under the Mental Health Act, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how Nidham Ferchichi, 31, also wrote two letters to Anna Joyce, even though a restraining order forbade it.

He was to tell police he did not consider himself divorced as that was when a relationship had ended and he didn’t think theirs was over.

Ferchichi sent the letters after he had been released from hospital into the care of the community mental health team and was living at a Travelodge in Burnley.

The hearing was told the restraining order was imposed last June, when the defendant had been convicted of theft, criminal damage and threatening behaviour after an incident at Ms Joyce’s home.

Ferchichi, of Fir Street, Nelson, admitted two counts of breaching a restraining order, committing a further offence while subject to a conditional discharge and failing to surrender. He was given a 12-month community order with supervision and must pay £50 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.