A LABOURER who sent a series of threatening texts to his ex-girlfriend has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Maxwell Miles, of Cranleigh Road, Bournemouth, has appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court after earlier pleading guilty to two counts of sending offensive messages.

Prosecuting, Susan Cavender told the court Miles had sent the messages to his former girlfriend between April 1 and April 15 this year.

These text messages became increasingly abusive and included threats such as 'I'll stab you twenty times' and 'do you want acid in your face?'

Then on May 15, the morning after his ex reluctantly agreed to let him sleep over, the pair started to argue.

Miles' victim, growing increasingly concerned for her welfare, dialled 999, and it was while she was speaking to the police operator that Miles shouted down the phone "I am going to stab her."

Miss Cavender said the couple had been together for around six months before breaking up.

Tim Shorter, mitigating, said: "It must have been a very unpleasant experience for this young lady."

However, Mr Shorter also read excerpts from a statement the victim had made to police saying she did not believe Miles would have carried out his threats.

Mr Shorter also told the court his client had experienced problems with drink and drugs, and had started using cocaine aged 16.

Judge Jonathan Fuller QC, sentencing Miles to ten weeks in prison, suspended for two years, described the text messages he sent as "of the most poisonous kind."

He added: "These were designed to intimidate her, and in the words of the probation service, to terrify her."

Judge Fuller warned Miles he would face an immediate custodial sentence if he breeched his suspended sentence.

Miles, who works as a bricklayer's labourer, was also ordered to compete 100 hours of unpaid work, complete a 42-day 'Building Better Relationships' course and given a court order prohibiting him from making any contact with his victim.