A man who struggled to come to terms with the break-up of a relationship sent nasty voicemail messages to his ex-partner.

Darren Smith, aged 36, sent the messages in Welshpool over a three-day period in March last year after his girlfriend of two years left him after she found counterfeit money from selling a motorbike.

When his victim returned home following the break-up, she found the carpets removed, the children's bunk beds taken away, draws glued together and a wooden wardrobe with a hole in it.

His ex-partner told the court in a statement: "It was an absolutely horrendous experience. I was crying and upset that he said that to get at me, and it worked."

Smith was told that the offence was serious enough for a community order that will last for 12 months after he admitted sending malicious communications when he appeared at Welshpool Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, November 21.

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He must also stay away from his ex for the next two years.

Prosecutor Helen Tench told the court that the victim received messages which called her a "dirty little slag" and said "you're the one who had my heart". He also said a baby that his ex-girlfriend lost was "better without you".

Brendan Reedy, acting on behalf of Smith, said the Shropshire man admitted sending the messages but denied damaging anything, adding that the relationship ending caught him by surprise.

"It's the story of human life," he said. "People can be in relationships and people don't know that their relationships are coming to an end.

"The offence is nasty and shows an unpleasant side to his character.

"He had a very difficult and traumatic childhood. Things were difficult in school but what he's achieved with NVQs; he has been very hardworking despite a difficult in start in life."


Mr Reedy told the court that the relationship ended after Smith was sold a motorbike for £1,500, of which £100 turned out to be counterfeit cash.

"They were not all nasty messages; there was a mixture of 'I love you, I want you back'," he added. "She wasn’t bombarded by messages. They’re quite specific and real. He is genuinely sorry for what he said. He wanted to hurt her because he was hurt.

"This was clearly a gross overreaction to a relationship finishing. It happened over a very short period of time, and he overreacted to his partner leaving him."

Magistrates ordered Smith, of Plealey, near Pontesbury, to pay a £162 fine, a £95 surcharge and £620 court costs after pleading guilty on the day of trial. The bench decided not to order compensation to the victim.