A STALKER put his ex-girlfriend through "psychological warfare" after she ended their "toxic" relationship.

Sam Fleming accused his girlfriend – who lived in Bury – of cheating on him which she denied.

At Manchester Minshull Street Court, Joshua Bowker, prosecuting, said the pair were friends since childhood, but then started a relationship in early summer 2019.

"Despite early positive signs, a short while into the relationship things turned unpleasant", Mr Bowker said.

On a Saturday morning in August, the defendant accused her partner of cheating on him, which she denied.

He called her an "array of vulgar names", the court heard.

The woman then left the property and went to her mother's home.

The defendant then phoned her to say he had also left the address but continued to "ring her multiple times".

She went home after work and Fleming turned up.

His partner told him she would speak to him the next day and he left.

Two days later, she finished the relationship after she "had enough" of him.

Fleming went to her home but after refusing to leave, the woman called the police.

However, by the end of the week, she decided to give the relationship another go and Fleming stayed at her address overnight.

But in the morning, he accused the woman of cheating on him again, calling her a "slag" and a "liar", Mr Bowker said.

She asked him to leave before an argument broke out.

Mr Bowker said: "Over the next couple of days the defendant bombarded the victim with phone calls, often through a withheld number."

Fleming also asked for his belongings back.

A few days later he returned to the woman's home and threw stones at a window and shouted for her to speak to him.

She called the police but he had left by the time they arrived.

In the next month, Fleming kept returning to the victim's house.

On one occasion, he went round the house and kicked her back door after an argument.

Mr Bowker said: "Over the next few weeks, he kept coming back to the address, coming to the door asking what she was doing and where she was going.

"She seen the defendant dodging in between parked cars outside of her address, trying to conceal himself from her window.

"And eventually this got too much and on October 12 she contacted the police."

Officers arrived and took information from the woman before leaving at around 10pm.

Only 10 minutes later, Fleming turned up asking why the police were around.

He knocked on the door so hard it set the house alarm off.

Fleming handed himself into police on March 17, 2020 and he was arrested and interviewed.

He accepted the relationship was "toxic" but denied ever being violent towards his ex-girlfriend.

The defendant also said he had been to her home to pick up belongings but had not made threats.

On March 30 this year on the day of his trial, he pleaded guilty to a charge of stalking.

This was changed from a more serious charge of stalking and threatening to damage property as the victim did not want to appear in court to give evidence.

Mr Bowker said the woman is "petrified" of Fleming and wants him to leave her alone.

She felt she was not safe and "was constantly looking over her shoulder".

The woman has since moved address.

Fleming, 30, has one previous conviction for three offences. He was jailed in 2016 after threatening a man with a weapon and causing criminal damage.

Defending, Michael James, said Fleming of St Asaphs Drive, Salford, who is a carer for his grandfather, was keen to say he had returned to the house to get his property back.

He wrote letters expressing his love for her and was "annoyed" the relationship broke down.

Fleming said the offences ended in October 2019 but did not realise police were looking for him until March 2020.

Judge Paul Lawton gave Fleming a four month sentence suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to carry out a 30-day rehabilitation order and issued with a lifelong restraining order not to contact the victim.

In sentencing Fleming, Judge Lawton told him: "You chose to wage psychological warfare against your ex-partner.

"All relationships that break down involve a transient period where people sort out property and the like, I accept that.

"You went on over the next month to repeatedly bombard her with texts, phone calls, and more importantly, constantly go round banging on the door and harassing her.

"That was, as I say, psychological warfare against her, and it understandably terrorised her and has had a long-term effect upon her.

"She felt unable to come to this court to give evidence against you."