A FORKLIFT driver “behaved like a stalker” when he broke into his former partner’s flat while she slept, and attacked her, York Crown Court heard.

Mark Styles, prosecuting, said the girlfriend awoke to find Lee William Codona, 27, at the end of the bed.

He told her: “I know you are seeing someone else. I have seen it on Facebook because I have hacked your account.”

He pushed her head into a pillow and when she managed to get out of bed, he grabbed her by the throat, punched her in the stomach and pushed her against a wall.

“She was in fear he was going to do something worse,” said Mr Styles.

Recorder Jamie Hill QC, sentencing Codona to 21 months in jail, told him: “Everyone is entitled to feel safe in their own home and you violated her home.

“This was stalker-like behaviour because it was borne out of jealousy.”

The relationship was over, but Codona had yet to accept that, said the judge.

Codona, of Askham Lane, Acomb, pleaded guilty to burglary and assault.

In addition to the jail term, he was given a restraining order, banning him from having any contact with his former girlfriend or going within 100 metres of her home indefinitely.

For him, Eleanor Fry said the burglary had been a “misguided” attempt by Codona to try and talk to his former girlfriend.

He didn’t go to the flat with the intention of stealing anything.

He was trying to mend his ways and wanted to get back into fulltime work. He was remorseful.

Mr Styles said a neighbour spotted Codona climbing through an open window on the flat’s balcony.

The victim had left it partially open because it was a warm night.

Codona took his ex’s mobile phone when she tried to use it to get help.

But the neighbour had already contacted police and they arrested him nearby.

The court heard the woman had suffered bruises, soreness and a bump on her head.