A man made a woman’s life “hell” when she ended their relationship of 16 years because he was taking cocaine, York Crown Court heard.

Foster Allan, 35, crashed a metal bar onto the woman’s car when she was in it and damaged its windows, called “I can see you” through her letter box, made veiled threats about her job, followed her persistently, deluged her with threatening and insulting phone calls and text messages and turned her into a petrified wreck unable to sleep or eat properly, said Laura Addy, prosecuting.

The woman lost 10 kilograms in weight as Allan stalked her for four months.

The stalking begun after she ended the relationship because Allan's behaviour deteriorated when he was using cocaine to the point where she couldn't take any more. 

She was subjected to an “extended period and pursuit of abuse and harassment from June right through to October, when the defendant was remanded,” said Ms Addy.

She spent £800 on some repairs to her car, but full repairs to its bodywork could have cost £10,000, the prosecution barrister said. 

“You are a living example of how drugs ruin lives,” the Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, told Allan. “People think taking cocaine is a fun thing to do."

But it wasn't, the judge said. "You made that woman’s life hell.”

“It shows you choose to put your own personal feelings and your own sympathy for yourself ahead of everybody else’s. It shows you are self-obsessed.”

Allan, of Geldof Road, Huntington, pleaded guilty to two charges of stalking and one of dangerous driving when he drove away from police on their way to deal with one of the stalking incidents. All offences were committed last year.

He was jailed for 15 months, banned from driving for 19 months, ordered to do an extended driving test before driving alone again and made subject to a restraining order banning him from contacting or approaching the woman for five years.

Ms Addy said police were on their way to speak with the woman on July 15, when they saw Allan on Monkton Road off Malton Road, York.

They signalled to him to stop, but he took off at speed, forcing another vehicle to brake when he overtook it, and going through a red light as he turned into Malton Road from Elmfield Road. They lost sight of him as he headed towards the Vangarde Shopping Centre.

For Allan, Matthew Stewart said the relationship had been breaking down in the early part of last year.  That led to him taking cocaine and he had increased his drug use because of matters not involving his ex-partner. He had also had problems with his mental health, that had led to him self-harming.

His family were standing by him and he had the offer of a job with accommodation as a car mechanic in Pickering after he finished serving his prison sentence.