A stalker pretended to be a police officer at one point while sending his victim incessant messages.

Scott Goodinson, 48, had been forbidden from contacting his former partner after he had been arrested and bailed when concerns were raised about his behaviour towards her.

But Bolton Crown Court heard how Goodinson had assaulted the woman in June of this year when he tried to grab her phone while the pair were living together.

Prosecutor Kimberley Obrusik said: “He came up behind her and put his arm around her neck.”

She added: “It is accepted he did not choke her, but she felt some pressure.”

The Bolton News: The case was heard at Bolton Crown CourtThe case was heard at Bolton Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

Ms Obrusik told the court how Goodinson, who has 21 previous convictions for 59 offences, was forbidden to contact his victim after being arrested in July this year.

But he still sent her a string of text messages, some of them asking for access to his dog.

Goodinson was arrested again that same month for breaching his bail conditions, only to be bailed again at which point he once again breached his terms by contacting his victim.

Ms Obrusik said: “She received yet another message from another number saying he was a police officer dealing with the theft of a dog.”

But on phoning 101, the woman found that no such investigation existed.

Ms Obrusik said: “She knew then it was him pretending to be an officer.”

Goodinson, of Cherry Tree Avenue, Farnworth, messaged the woman again, this time pretending to be his own mother, before he was arrested on August 14 and remanded in custody.

He eventually pleaded guilty to stalking and assault.

Nick Ross, defending, argued that Goodinson deserved credit for having pleaded guilty and said his time in custody had been a “salutary lesson.”

He also said that the defendant’s stalking campaign had been fairly short when compared to other similar cases.

Mr Ross said: “In terms of stalking, experience shows that it can continue for a period of months or years.

“This is a relatively short period of time.”

He added that Goodinson was “disappointed in himself” after having stayed out of trouble for several years.

Judge Abigail Hudson said that the defendant was “not of good character” but told the court she did not believe jailing him was necessary.

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Addressing Goodinson, she said: “The contact you made with her was largely fairly pathetic and I accept it was not of a particularly threatening nature.”

She added: “Returning to custody in August is frankly a huge backward step for you.”

Judge Hudson sentenced Goodinson to an 18-month community order with a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement and ordered him to complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

She also ordered him to pay a £50 fine and hit him with a restraining order forbidding him from contacting or coming near his victim and her mother for two years.