“IT was a long campaign of bullying,” a judge said to a man who sent a private photo of his ex-partner to her mother and broke into her home to ‘rifle’ through her dirty laundry.

Danny Mahoney could be seen crying from the dock at Oxford Crown Court as he was sentenced for several offences against his former partner of eight years.

He admitted to sending a private, sexual photograph to her mother on April 6, sending threatening messages to her between April 1 and April 8 and damaging floors, work surfaces and a sofa.

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While on police bail, he then admitted to stalking her, leaving a knife plunged in the back of her sofa, and ‘rifling’ through her dirty laundry and underwear drawer after breaking into her home.

Recorder Joseph Hart told the 29-year-old on Tuesday (December 5) that his actions were ‘calculated to cause humiliation and distress’.

Handing him a 57-week prison sentence, suspended for 24 months, His Honour Hart said: “It’s a prison sentence but if you do what’s required of you, become the man you would want your children to look up to, then you won’t be back here.

“If you’re in love with [your ex-partner], you should realise the danger you pose to her. Standing there in that dock, I hope that you understand that the greatest expression of love you can have for her would be staying away from her and letting her live her life.”

The court heard that Mahoney, of The Slade, Headington, had been arrested and granted bail with the condition not to contact his former partner in April after sending the sexual photograph and threatening messages.

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Speaking to police, Mahoney ‘blamed his lack of empathy’ on his autism.

In November, he then broke into his former partner's home and ‘rifled’ through her laundry, sending her a message reading: “You have c**-stained knickers in your house.”

When she returned home, she also found a butcher's knife in the back of the sofa.

Sentencing Mahoney, who appeared in the dock wearing a grey tracksuit, Recorder Hart said: “The language used and the conduct, especially the sending of the image, was calculated to cause maximum humiliation.

“It’s quite clear that, at one stage, you were in love with [her]. It’s quite obvious you struggled to give up this relationship.”

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He noted the defendant has also been on regular dialysis since 2011 and has spent ‘most of his life in hospital’.

Mahoney was ordered to also complete 25 days of rehabilitation activity and 30 days of a programme requirement.