A stalker who pestered his ex-partner has been banned from contacting her or from going anywhere near her home in Exmouth.

Damien Lapworth was unable to accept the woman’s decision to end their eight-month relationship and bombarded her with phone calls and WhatsApp messages.

He went to her home on numerous occasions and even went inside during one visit, where her young daughter was shocked to find him in the house.

The painter and decorator continued to pester her even after he had been arrested and released with a bail condition not to contact her, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Lapworth, aged 46, formerly of Springfield Road, Exmouth but now of Thurlow Road, Torquay, admitted harassment and was ordered to undertake a Building Better Relationships course and ten days of rehabilitation activities as part of a 30-month community order.

Judge David Evans also ordered him to pay £500 compensation and imposed a nine-month electronically monitored exclusion from Exmouth and a five-year restraining order which bans all contact with the woman and forbids him going to her home or work.

He noted that he already has a previous conviction for stalking another ex-partner told him he would go to jail if he did it again or failed to comply with the community order.

He said: “When a partner tells you that a relationship is over; you don’t own anything, you don’t own her affection or attention. You clearly thought your wished trumped everything.

“She ended the relationship in the light of your unpleasant and intolerable behaviour but you refused to accept that for four months and plagued her with unwanted contact. You went as far as entering her home and scaring her daughter when she discovered you there.”

Mr Daniel Pawson-Pounds, prosecuting, said more serious offences including coercive and controlling behaviour had been dropped after the victim told police she could not face going to court.

He said the harassment took place between February and May last year and consisted of phone calls, messages, sending unwanted deliveries and making uninvited visits to the area of her home.

Miss Hollie Gilbery, defending, said Lapworth accepts the relationship is over and is happy to comply with the exclusion from Exmouth. The probation service considered suitable for rehabilitation.