Obsessed Craig Stewart is behind bars after leaving his 'soulmate' ex living in fear following a campaign of abuse in the 17 years since they split.

Time and time again, Stewart has resorted to violence, threats and harassment and refuses to leave her alone.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim has been left living in fear he might kill her after he breached a restraining order again and said he would cut her throat.

Elizabeth Muir, prosecuting, said Stewart, who has 74 previous convictions, has caused numerous problems for her over the years since their relationship ended.

In 2005 he was sentenced for assaulting her - slapping and punching her in the face, displacing a tooth and leaving her with a bloodied mouth.

In 2007 he attacked her again, grabbing her by the throat, throwing her on a bed, punching her in the face and biting her nose.

In 2015 he assaulted and threatened to kill her and her dog by slitting their throats after putting knives on a kitchen bench. He was jailed for four months.

In 2016 he was convicted of harassment and breaching a restraining order and was jailed for two months.

In 2017 he was convicted of harassment and breaching a restraining order and was jailed for two months.

And on another occasion he threatened to kill her after asking her to get back together with him.

He was given an indefinite restraining order in April 2019, banning him from contacting or approaching her.

In October last year, she was at home when he called her, saying he was going round to pick up some belongings.

He turned up and she rang 999 then heard a commotion and saw he was throwing property around in the garden and causing damage.

The woman saw him walking down the street and when she opened the front door, he shouted: "I'm going to cut your throat, I'm going to kill you". He then made threats to "do" her car and her neighbour's.

Over the space of a few days, Stewart then sent 34 texts and made 16 phone calls to the woman, in breach of the restraining order.

Miss Muir said: "They were along the lines of her saying she didn't want any more to do with him and resorting to having to move because of his behaviour and him simply not seeming to understand she wanted the relationship over and saying she had broken his heart.

"She had not blocked him on the advice of the police because they were concerned if he couldn't get hold of her by phone it might encourage him to go to her home.

"Towards the end of the texts, she said she would contact the police and he said she didn't need to because he would protect her.

"She said the only person she needed protection from was him."

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: "I feel like he is going to kill me. Nobody believes me but I know what he is like. He wants to hurt me. All I'm trying to do is protect myself."

Stewart, 40, of Strathmore Crescent, Benwell, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching a restraining order, harassment and threats to kill and was jailed for 27 months.

Judge Stephen Earl said: "The defendant simply can't, for a prolonged period of time, stay away from her. She is his Achilles heel.

"The reality is she is a high risk domestic violence victim.

"It may be one thing to hold a candle and think you want to get her back and you may feel she's your soulmate and you want to get her back but I have to tell you, that's a bad idea.

"It would be good for both of you if you weren't in her life."

The judge added that he was concerned that the victim could end up coming to serious harm.

Jamie Adams, defending, said it was Stewart drinking to excess that had brought about the various offences over the years.

He added that the victim has, on occasions, invited him round.