A HELENSBURGH man who couldn’t accept it when his former partner ended their relationship bombarded his ex with messages and calls and stalked her at her home.

Liam Merrilees left the woman terrified by repeatedly pressuring her to resume the relationship.

The 30-year-old appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court recently over incidents over a series of months at a property in Helensburgh.

Depute fiscal Emma Thomson said the relationship had first ended on November 9, 2018 and Merrilees’ behaviour changed.

He began to phone her constantly and send messages through WhatsApp, text and Snapchat.

When he got no reply, he would turn up at her home uninvited. He would knock the doors and windows and shout through the letter box to be let in.

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Merrilees managed to convince the woman to take him back, only for his controlling behaviour to prompt her to end it again.

Ms Thomson said: “When it ended, he would harass her with phone calls and text messages and when there was no reply, he would attend and look through windows and bang doors.”

Merrilees turned up to collect some of his belongings, left, and then contacted her via text message “asking for a valid reason” for the end of the relationship.

The woman repeatedly told him the relationship was over. But he texted to say he was going round, even though she was in her bed.

A few minutes later, she heard him shouting her name, knocking on windows.

He could be heard to say: “I know you’re not asleep because you were watching a film 10 minutes ago.”

Merrilees eventually left but returned at 9am the next morning, repeatedly knocking the door.

Two children were present in the home at the time and told not to answer the door to Merrilees, but the woman later let him in. He repeatedly asked her why she didn’t want to see him anymore.

The next day, after seeing a film, she found a note on her car stating: “Will you be my girlfriend?”

Later he turned up at her home again and repeatedly banged doors and windows.

A day later, he took the day off work and convinced the woman to let him in, but then refused to leave when asked. He only left when she did.

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He was back again that night, banging and shouting the woman’s name through the door and telling her “I love you”.

Merrilees walked around the property, looking through windows and prompting the woman to close all curtains and blinds.

But, Ms Thomson said: “She was sitting on the living room couch when she saw a hand reaching through trying to open blinds.”

The couple got back together at some point later, and there were no issues until February this year when the woman again decided to end the relationship. Merrilees returned to messaging and calling constantly, and turning up at her home.

Days later he left chocolates and flowers at her door and then a chocolate rabbit.

Police were contacted later and Merrilees admitted to placing the woman in a state of fear and alarm with his behaviour between November 9 and 12, and February 17 and March 1.

Defence solicitor Scott Adair told the court his client had no previous domestic offences in his record.

He said Merrilees had “confusions” about the relationship but “fully accepts it was entirely inappropriate”.

Mr Adair added: “He should have taken a step backwards, and if the relationship was at an end, he should have respected that.”

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Sheriff Lindsey Kooner said it was a “protracted and very distressing set of circumstances”.

She added: “I hope you accept this relationship is over and you have to move on and leave the woman alone.”

Merrilees was ordered to do 260 hours of unpaid work in the community as a direct alternative to custody.

His ex had requested a non-harassment order for as long a period as possible, but it was granted for 15 months.

He must not contact the woman in any way during that time. The restriction to not approach her was omitted as they continue to live across the street from each other.