A JILTED boyfriend burgled his former partner's home after sending her a series of threatening texts.

The victim was so frightened by his claims that he would burn her home down with her and her daughter inside that she moved out of the property.

Then, while she was away, he broke in, stole her television and handbag and smashed windows.

At Bolton Crown Court, Martin Hodder was sentenced to four years and three months in prison after Recorder Stephen Riordan QC said he agreed with a probation service assessment that, "There is a very high risk of serious harm to the public if you can't be managed in the community".

Hodder, aged 45, of Potter Street, Bury, pleaded guilty to harassment causing fear of violence and burglary.

Alaric Bassano, prosecuting, told the court how Hodder met the woman through an internet dating website in July last year and started a relationship.

She lived with Hodder for a week before moving back to her own home in Tonge Moor, Bolton, after he started to become aggressive and abusive.

The woman was genuinely claiming benefits while suffering from depression, but Hodder threatened to contact the Benefits Agency if she did not get a job within six months.

"He regularly threatened her that he was going to inform the Benefits Agency she was fit for work," said Mr Bassano.

"He took pleasure in teasing her in that way."

On September 20 last year Hodder was at the woman's home when she informed him the relationship was over.

He left and over the next few days he sent her texts which she ignored, then on September 29, he called at her home to return a present she had previously given him.

"He got down on his knees and begged her to forgive him. She told him she was frightened of being with him and he apologised," said Mr Bassano.

But later the same day he began sending her text messages, threatening her and her daughter and saying he would burn her house down.

"He expressed the hope that she and her daughter would be inside," said Mr Bassano.

"She was so frightened that she decided to stay away from her own home."

Then, on October 1, he rang and told her to check her house.

The woman went to the property with a friend and found her windows had been smashed, back door key was missing and her television, handbag, cards and cash were missing.

Hodder was arrested, charged and granted bail, but then formed a relationship with a woman in Macclesfield. He was subsequently convicted of assaulting her and her grown-up daughter after they were injured by a knife.

The court heard he also has a previous conviction for assaulting another former partner.

Philip Barnes, defending, said Hodder has now drastically reduced the drinking he was doing at the time he was harassing the woman in Bolton then breaking into her house.

"Through growing, unjustified anger he had talked himself into doing something to bring that harassment to a conclusion."

But sentencing Hodder, Recorder Riordan told him: "Even now your real purpose in carrying out the burglary is not completely clear, which is disturbing."

A restraining order was made banning Hodder from contacting the woman or going near her home.