A FATHER who harassed his ex-partner forcing her to change her daily routine has been handed a community order.

Between May and August last year, Dean Mackie turned up outside the home of his estranged wife Natasha on more than one occasion.

He also sent her messages demanding to see the couple’s daughter and pursued her in his vehicle after trying to stop her leaving home.

At Ipswich Crown Court yesterday Mackie denied stalking but admitted harassment.

Oliver Haswell, prosecuting, said: “The plea which has been offered is acceptable as it enshrines a course of conduct which has caused alarm or distress to the victim.”

Mr Haswell told the court Mackie’s ex-partner had problems sleeping since the campaign of harassment took place. He said: “She talks about various trips to Tesco where she has seen his vehicle and it has caused her enough concern she chose to go shop elsewhere.”

Russell Butcher, mitigating, said Mackie had accepted he needed to pursue contact with his daughter through the proper channels.

Judge Rupert Overbury ordered Mackie, of Elizabeth Close, Colchester, to complete up to 40 days of rehabilitation requirement activity within two years.

A two year restraining order was also made banning Mackie, 53, from contacting his ex.

He said: “There was no injury or violence but it was upsetting for your ex-partner and it went on over a prolonged period of time.

“I am glad to hear you have understood now that there is a right way of doing things and a wrong way. The right way is through the courts rather than taking matters into your own hands.”