A MAN who threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and her new partner has been spared jail.

Michael Braddish, from Orford, embarked upon a ‘five-month campaign of harassment’ against his former partner after ending their relationship last year.

The 29-year-old followed her in his car, made hundreds of phone calls and sent a barrage of vile texts threatening violence against her and her new boyfriend.

Chester Crown Court heard on Monday, November 18, that Braddish first contacted his victim over social media in 2017 asking if she wanted to go out with him – while he was still in a relationship with his pregnant girlfriend.

Having been rebuffed, he messaged her again in February 2018 telling her that his previous relationship was over and the pair arranged to meet.

A ‘toxic relationship with frequent arguments and confrontations’ followed, the court heard.

In August 2018, the complainant discovered that she was pregnant with the defendant’s child.

When she informed Braddish of this, he told her he was seeing another woman and ended their relationship – telling her she should have an abortion.

But when she did subsequently have an abortion, he ‘became angry and accused her of killing his child’.

Over the following months, he attended her home and workplace, called her around 600 times and ‘bombarded her with abusive, nasty and threatening messages’.

Other messages claimed he ‘loved her and wanted her back’, including 20 on Christmas Day.

The victim decided to report the abuse in November last year and drove to a police station, only to find that it was closed.

While driving home, she realised that Braddish, of Statham Avenue, was following her in his car – blocking her in near her house and punching her wing mirror, smashing it.

In a text sent in December 2018, Braddish said: “I will make a mess of your boyfriend in front of you, then I will do the same to you.”

The following month, the scaffolder and former steel fabricator sent further disturbing messages – some of the details of which are too graphic to publish.

These texts said: “I’ll tear your head off, and his – I’ll make sure you never have sex again.”

Defence barrister Desmond Lennon told the court: “The gravity of his position is not lost upon him.

“He now understands that his behaviour was outrageous and deplorable, and he understands the impact of his behaviour.

“Some of these text messages were deeply unpleasant – one in particular was quite troubling.

“For this behaviour he is genuinely sorry and ashamed, he knows he has done wrong.

“He isn’t callous or cold – he is fully remorseful for what he’s done, and he knows he has to be punished.

“He could have little complaint if immediate custody was imposed upon him, but this is a hard-working man of good character who is in a position to contribute to society.”

Braddish, who has no previous convictions, admitted harassment during an earlier court hearing.

Judge Steven Everett handed him a 10-month imprisonment, suspended for 18 months and ordered him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Sentencing, judge Everett said: “It must have been not just wearing and trying, but truly terrifying.

“Some people think that because they make these threats on social media, it doesn’t make it serious.

“This has had a huge effect on her and her family – you are a big, strong-looking man and they would have expected the potential for the violence you threatened to carry out.

“They had to live with it for months.

“The real question here is whether I can give you another chance or whether you go straight into that door and into the cells.

“While it has been a fine line, I’m just about prepared to give you a chance because I don’t think you’re a lost cause.

“If you don’t take this chance, it won’t worry me – I’ll just send you to prison.”

Braddish was given a restraining order preventing him from contacting the victim or her family or visiting her home indefinitely.

Judge Everett also imposed a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and told the defendant to pay £350 in court costs plus a victim surcharge.