A man bombarded his terrified ex-girlfriend and her sister with hundreds of messages after they broke up - leading her to try and take her own life.

Paul Ray Lofthouse, 37, was in a three-month relationship with the woman last year.

Manchester Magistrates' Court heard that when it ended 'he did not take it well'.

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Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, said Lofthouse 'started turning up at bars looking for her and asking friends where she was'.

In a statement read out in court, the victim described being on two lots of tablets and being unable to sleep following the ordeal.

"I can't sleep, I have had to change my working hours which is not helpful for me," she said.

"I had to ask IT to intercept my emails - I am absolutely terrified of Paul Lofthouse.

"I panic when I go to the shops or city centre and I am too frightened to go out."

Paul Lofthouse leaves Manchester Magistrates Court

The court heard the woman has tried to take her own life.

Between 9pm on August 31 and 11am on September 1 Lofthouse tried to contact the woman's sister around 90 times.

On August 10, he contacted her on Facebook asking her to account for sexually transmitted diseases he claimed her sister had.

"Throughout this time I felt extremely vulnerable and distressed," the victim added.

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"As a woman who lives on her own in a rural area when I took my dog out I was always looking over my shoulder

"I have had sleepless nights."

Lofthouse was made the subject of a non-molestation order on September 7, but on October 30 he contacted his ex again, saying he was going to kill himself.

Defending, Rebecca Clarke, said Lofthouse had one previous conviction for being drunk and disorderly.

She said: "He accepts the charges.

"He understands what he has pleaded guilty to and is not defending that at all."

She said he has had voluntarily had therapy and has sought help from The Samaritans.

Ms Kenyon said: "It's clear this is a situation that is escalating."

Lofthouse, of Billing Avenue, Longsight pleaded guilty to harassment and breaching a non-molestation order.

He was sentenced to an 18-month community order; made the subject of an indefinite restraining order; and ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work, 30 sessions of a 'building better relationships' course and 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Lofthouse was told breaching the order would mean five years in prison.