Man jailed over ‘vile’ texts to ex

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A MAN has been jailed for sending “vile” text messages to his former partner.

Luther Smith launched his campaign of abuse when he discovered the woman had a new boyfriend, Durham Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Chris Baker told the court the couple were so frightened the new relationship ended.

“There were 22 texts in all,” said Baker. “Most were threatening and abusive.

“Smith said he would cut the new partner’s hands off, and leave him gurgling on his own bodily fluid after he stamped on him.

“He further threatened to burn the man’s eyes out and smash him with his car. Another threat was to tie the man to a lamp-post, cover him in creosote, and set fire to him.”

The court heard Smith has previous convictions for offences against his ex-partner.

“This contributed to her fears the threats would be acted upon,” Mr Baker added.

Smith, 23, of Acre Rigg Road, Peterlee, admitted breach of a restraining order in January of this year.

Martin Scarborough, defending, said in mitigation: “At the time, the texts were sent Mr Smith had been drinking and taking drugs.

“He got angry, but he’s maybe all mouth and trousers.

“There is the possibility of employment on the horizon, and he is prepared to engage with the probation service.”

Judge Simon Hickey jailed Smith for a year and banned him from contacting his ex-partner for 10 years.

The judge told Smith: “The messages you sent were vile and revolting.

“They were also in breach of a previous court order.

“Court orders must be obeyed. You now know what happens if they are not.”