A STALKER who was found hiding in the loft of his ex-partner bombarded her with messages including threats to stab her and burn her with acid.

Jonathan Patterson, 31, sent dozens of messages, made phone calls and appeared outside the Clacton home of his ex-partner between July and August.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard the couple had broken up 18 months before the stalking began.

Patterson told his victim he would “break down her door” and warned her he was “waiting outside”.

He later carried out the threat, with the victim arriving at her home on August 18 and finding a glass panel on her front door had been shattered.

At an earlier hearing at Colchester Magistrates’ Court, the prosecutor said police had found Patterson hiding in the loft.

Patterson admitted stalking involving fear of violence and criminal damage.

A burglary charge was left to lie on file.

Eleanor Scott Davies, prosecuting, described the sometimes aggressive content of the dozens of unanswered messages sent by Patterson.

“He arrived at her address uninvited on numerous occasions and sent numerous texts, one threatening to stab her and one threatening to use acid on her face,” she said.

She added: “It made her afraid said she said ‘I am scared of what he might do.’

“She described herself as emotionally drained.”

Richard Potts, mitigating, said Patterson, of Marine Parade East, Clacton, had worked intermittently as a butcher in Colchester for eight years.

He said: “The defendant acknowledges his actions were completely unacceptable.

“He is someone who has - no doubt in part through his past abuse of drugs and drink - but also in part through his innate mental health issues, difficulties he has been unable to deal with.

“He instructs me he has now been appointed a mental health care worker and was waiting at the time of this arrest for an appointment with an adult social worker who will be able to help him deal with some of these problems and offer guidance on avoiding further offending.

“The defendant does have clear insight to the fact he does have mental health problems.”

Judge Charles Gratwicke jailed Patterson for a year and imposed a restraining order for five years which will prohibit Patterson from contacting the victim or her mother.