A VIOLENT man who repeatedly harassed and assaulted his ex-partner has been jailed for three years.

In August last year Alex Crossman was given a restraining order preventing him from contacting the woman, going to her home or visiting Leverhulme Park.

But Bolton Crown Court heard how he ignored the order and was jailed in January.

Justin Hayhoe, prosecuting, said that after his release the following month he continued to contact the woman, sending her text messages, posting messages through her door and leaving threatening voicemails demanding she speak to him.

In one of a series of messages her told her: "Listen, answer your f***ing phone. You're just making things worse for yourself for the next time I see you."

Mr Hayhoe told how, on September 20, 39-year-old Crossman turned up at the Withins pub, Breightmet where she was with friends, stared at her and then approached her.

"She was so scared that she couldn't tell him to go away because she was fearful of what the consequences would be," said Mr Hayhoe.

Crossman then followed her to her friend's house in Copthorne Drive.

"As his alcohol intake increased he became increasingly more nasty," said Mr Hayhoe, who added that he alternated between hurling abuse at her and trying to persuade her to sleep with him.

After his advances were rebuffed he pushed her to the floor then punched her in the face.

"Not satisfied with that he went on to kick her four times to her left left which caused bruising and a cut to her left shin.

"He then returned to his original tack of trying to persuade her to have sex with him."

She tried to flee the house in a taxi but he held the car door open, preventing it from leaving and, shortly afterwards, police arrived.

In a victim statement, read out in court, the woman stated how she had been so frightened of Crossman that she and her son have repeatedly moved, staying with friends in order to avoid him.

Crossman, of Radcliffe Road, Bolton, pleaded guilty to harassment, assault and breaching a restraining order.

Ellen Shaw, defending, said Crossman, a construction worker who has 20 previous convictions and is father to three children, accepted he would be jailed.

"The defendant appreciates that it is through his own actions that he is going to be removed from them through the festive period and beyond," she said.

Judge Andrew Hatton jailed Crossman for three years and extended the restraining order, preventing him from contacting his victim for a further five years.