A stalker who was bailed five times has been jailed following an “appalling”, “vile” and “manipulative” campaign against his former partner.
Thomas Lloyd, 27, from Tilling Close, Maidstone, Kent, told his ex he planned to kill himself in front of her, a court heard. He was jailed for 22 months.
He was arrested five times over his behaviour but was bailed on each occasion and ordered to stay away from her - but ignored his bail conditions every time.
He threatened to kill himself, conned police into allowing him to access her home and almost cost his ex her job after their 11-year relationship ended.
Maidstone Crown Court heard that between September and October 2020 Lloyd sent images of a noose to her, opened her letters and said he was willing to go to prison to “show how much he cared”.
Prosecutor Patrick Maggs said the victim tried to end the relationship several times but Lloyd kept threatening suicide.
Last August, she “took the opportunity to leave” after he was arrested during a police investigation into drugs, the court heard.
After she blocked him on social media, he turned up at her parents' home for two days running saying he planned to kill himself in front of her using a knife, which was later found in his car.
The court heard how he sent her a message saying: "I'm bleeding to death outside your house and you are not even home to witness it."
In September, Lloyd contacted her friends and neighbours in an effort to persuade them to get in touch with her on his behalf.
He texted: "I'll buy a rope tomorrow, bye bye. You think this is a game. I have no life. All you care about is yourself."
He also sent a photograph of a noose - which officers later found at his home.
The court heard that he was allowed into a home they jointly owned to collect personal items but damaged property and opened her mail.
When the victim went to the house three days later she found between 10 and 20 letters had been opened and a book she had bought as a present for her mother had been defaced with a message.
After his final arrest on 13 October, Lloyd admitted he had already programmed an automatic message to his ex saying he had killed himself, which she received.
Mr Maggs said she had changed her hairstyle to be "less recognisable" to him.
"She felt that nothing could stop Mr Lloyd and certainly not the police and has shut all her social media accounts and now fears receiving messages even from friends,” he said.
"She even feared losing her job and has left her home."
Judge Julian Smith told Lloyd: "After she left you, there followed the most protracted and appalling, manipulative and deliberate, oppressive and controlling behaviour.
"It was a devious piece of manipulation and it was vile. It was a campaign against your former partner.
"We do not own the people we share a life with and we never have the right to control and crush them."
PC Chris Crawford of the Maidstone Vulnerability Investigation Team said: "This man continually harassed the victim over several weeks and caused her significant distress.
"He knew she did not want him to make contact with her and carried on regardless. He should be thoroughly ashamed of his conduct.
"It is right that he is now serving a prison sentence and I would like to thank the victim for bravely assisting investigators to bring him to justice."
Lloyd was sentenced to 22 months in prison for stalking and possession of a knife. Lloyd was also ordered to stay away from the victim and her family for 10 years.