A former Leigh rugby league player ripped up his wife’s dresses in a fit of rage and jealousy.

Nicholas Owen caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to the victim’s property after accusing her of being unfaithful to him.

The ex-Super League player, who made a handful of appearances for then-named Leigh Centurions during the 2005 season, was hauled before Warrington Magistrates’ Court.

He was sentenced on charges of harassment without violence and criminal damage, having pleaded guilty to both at an earlier hearing.

Details of the offending were relayed to the court by Michael O’Kane, prosecuting, who spoke of how the harassment was over a series of days in December last year.

Between December 1 and two, the 39-year-old made numerous unwanted calls and sent a series of unpleasant and expletive-laden text messages to the victim.

He also raided her wardrobe and destroyed items of clothing belonging to her – damage valued at £460.

Sentencing, magistrates concluded that the case was severe enough to merit a community penalty, but drew back from it crossing the custodial threshold.

They also said they would take the guilty pleas of the defendant, who appeared in court without legal representation, into account.

Owen, of Statham Avenue in Orford, Warrington, was sentenced to a 12-month community order.

He was also told he must complete 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days and undertake 120 hours of unpaid work.

In addition, the court imposed compensation of £460 to cover the cost of the clothing, as well as costs to the Crown Prosecution Service of £120 and a statutory victim surcharge of £114.