A MAN who sent a series of derogatory and threatening messages to a former partner in Helensburgh has been slammed by a sheriff for his “utterly unacceptable” behaviour.

David Benning sent the messages to his ex over a period of more than three weeks last summer.

The 47-year-old, who now lives in the town’s Fisher Place, pleaded guilty last December to an offence under the Communications Act 2003.

He admitted sending messages “that were grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character” between August 9 and August 24, 2020.

At Dumbarton Sheriff Court last Tuesday, fiscal depute Abigail McKenna said that on August 9 Benning had called the woman a “w****r”, “d***” and “f*****g poison” and an “untrustworthy and self-centred c***”.

Two days later she was told by the accused to “go and f*** herself’’. The accused also referred to the mother as being a “fat f*****g mother”.

READ MORE: Thug told police they were his 'f***ing servant' in Kilcreggan pub disturbance

And on August 24 she was referred to as an “unreasonable w****r” and a “d***”.

The next day he was arrested and taken to Clydebank police office where he provided a ‘no comment’ interview.

Sentence had been deferred until Tuesday for a social work report, but defence solicitor Amanda Kelly said Benning believed comments he made to the social worker, and which were mentioned in the report, had been “misinterpreted”.

Ms Kelly said: “He has yet to explain the circumstances in a wider context. He accepts that this behaviour is not acceptable.”

Sheriff William Gallacher said the case caused him “very considerable concern”, and added: “I dealt with another case where it was a very, very insidious form of domestic abuse. So is this.”

The sheriff told Ms Kelly: “It sounds to me, based on your description of your client and his perspectives, that he is attempting to create an environment in which these comments become justifiable.

READ MORE: Helensburgh man jailed for 'disgraceful' haul of indecent images of children

“What you are asking me to do is disregard the bulk of what’s been done by the social worker because Mr Benning doesn’t want to accept that.

“I have great difficulty doing that on the basis Mr Benning said that the author of the report ‘just got it wrong’.”

The sheriff read a paragraph from the social work report in which Benning reportedly said his former partner “should be held accountable for alleged abuse against him”.

Addressing Benning the sheriff said: “Your behaviour was utterly unacceptable, and in my view, almost incapable of being excused.”

Sentence was further deferred until the end of this month for the preparation of an additional social work report.