A builder claimed not to know his relationship was over – despite the mother of his child moving out then getting him arrested.

Robert Baker’s harassment of his former partner saw him push his way into her home in December and culminated in him attacking her in her own flat then pepper her with messages after he was arrested on suspicion of assault in February.

Sentencing the 36-year-old this week, Judge Nigel Daly said: “I am quite satisfied most of what was going on in this case was a combination of factors. The main one was your inability to accept this relationship had truly ended.”

Prosecutor Julian Lynch said Baker and his victim had been in a relationship for two years. Their relationship broke down last September and she moved to her own flat.

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Baker claimed not to have realised the relationship was over, saying he continued to see her and their child.

On December 6 last year, Baker went to her home in Barton and pushed past his ex into the flat. He was ‘aggressive’ and left for around half an hour before returning. He was said to have banged on the door. His frightened ex contacted a friend, who called the police. When she told him the police had been called he left the area.

Two months later, on February 11, he used a key she had left in his car to open her front door – then snapped a chain slung across the door in order to get inside. His ex told him to leave.

Oxford Mail: Judge Nigel Daly Picture: OMJudge Nigel Daly Picture: OM

He pinned her to a wall by the throat, shoved her to the floor and demanded her phone. He was unable to unlock it and she managed to text a friend for help. Later, she was found to have broken a finger in the assault.

Baker was arrested but immediately after his release from custody the following day began contacting her. He also sent her a Valentine’s Day card and gift.

Alice Aubrey-Fletcher, mitigating, said her client felt ‘ashamed and extremely remorseful’ for what he had done. He had struggled to accept the breakdown of the relationship and, in fact, believed they were still together. “He does recognise at this point how seriously he has misread the situation,” the barrister added.

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Self-employed construction worker Baker, of Green Ridges, Oxford, pleaded guilty to harassment, causing actual bodily harm and using violence to gain entry to premises.

The judge imposed a two year community order, giving Baker a chance to address problems that might arise in future relationships. He must do up to 50 rehabilitation activity requirement days, 180 hours of unpaid work and £1,425 in costs and compensation.

A restraining order limits his contract with the victim for a decade.

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