THINK long and hard before you text, York's district judge warned those dealing with relationship break-ups.

District judge Adrian Lower was sentencing a man who sent threatening messages to his former partner of 20 years.

They included one saying "It is my mission in life to destroy you I will go to jail for you", York Magistrates Court heard.

Another said: "The hatred I have for you is frightening."

The man who sent the messages, Neil Hyde, 39, told the court: "It was heat of the moment sort of thing. It was just words."

But the district judge told him words have consequences and can cause people alarm and distress.

At an earlier hearing, Katherine Smith, prosecuting, said the former partner had received a series of "chilling" text messages from Hyde, including one sent while he was in police custody.

"She felt increasingly scared as a result of the messages and scared to be in her own home," she said.

The district judge told Hyde: "People in a situation like you should think long and hard about sending a text message, and if they decide to send one, have a long think about who they will be received by the other person."

Hyde, of St Mary's, Clifton, pleaded guilty to sending an offensive or threatening electronic message.

He was given a 12-month community order with 30 days' rehabilitative activities, fined £300 and ordered to pay a £90 statutory surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.

He was also made subject to a restraining order, banning him from contacting his former partner, going to her home or going to two streets near her address.

Hyde said he regretted sending the messages.

York Magistrates Court heard the couple had been together for 20 years.

Speaking on Hyde's behalf at the earlier hearing, Steve Munro said he had sent the messages at a highly emotionally charged time and he had had no intention to carry out his threats.

The district judge heard a probation officer's report which said Hyde had now come to terms with the end of the relationship.

As a result of the break-up he had had to leave the marital home.