A MAN who stalked his former partner for months after “listening to whispers” about her has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Connor James Wade, 24, pushed the woman onto a table, giving her a black eye, vandalised her home and scrolled through her phone against her wishes, said Kathryn Walters, prosecuting at York Magistrates' Court.

Then he terrified her with a stalking campaign as he sent her abusive and threatening messages.

Wade turned up at Tang Hall Working Men’s Club threatening to smash up her car and, when he was arrested and bailed by police, defied bail conditions by returning to the club when the woman was there.

For two hours, he was looking through the window, shouting and asking for help and refusing to leave when requested, said Mrs Walters.

Staff escorted the woman out of the club for her own safety.

Wade, of Barstow Avenue, off Hull Road, York, pleaded guilty to stalking, harassment, assault and criminal damage.

Deputy district judge Ian Barnes told Wade: "Your behaviour was utterly appalling.”

He gave Wade a 26-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months on condition he does a nightly curfew for 18 weeks from 6pm to 6am, 40 hours’ rehabilitative activities and 120 hours’ unpaid work and ordered him to pay the woman £500 compensation.

Wade, who lives on universal credit, must also pay £85 prosecution costs and will be subject to a restraining order banning him from contacting the woman or going to Tang Hall Working Men’s Club for five years.

Wade’s solicitor Keith Whitehouse said Wade "had been listening to whispers for a considerable time” that led him to suspect she was spending time with another man.

When she returned home at 3am on August 7 after being out with friends, he lost his temper. His behaviour towards her on that occasion and throughout the stalking period had been at a time when he was drinking too much, said Mr Whitehouse.

Mrs Walters said Wade and the woman had been in a relationship for two years and he had moved into her flat, helping with the finance.

In the early hours of August 7, as well as knocking her into a table, he pushed her and she banged her head against a wall, he forced her phone off her and smashed its screen by throwing it against a wall, and squirted tomato ketchup on the walls and sofa.

He involved both their families in his incessant demands for her to contact him after she blocked him on her phone, the court heard.

Mr Whitehouse said Wade had “no ill feelings” towards the woman and that he wanted to get on with his life.

He was a hard-working qualified bricklayer who had behaved out of character and was now receiving help from his GP for mental health issues.