A "MEAN and vindictive" man stalked his victim and "made her life extremely unpleasant" by pestering her with phone calls, making threats, and lurking near her home.

Thomas Dorian Purnell, 26, carried out his "sophisticated" campaign over a seven-week period last autumn.

A sentencing hearing, at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday, heard how Purnell had made "constant" calls to his victim from withheld numbers, full of expletive-laden threats.

He drove past his victim's home playing loud music, and would even use Monzo online bank transfers to contact her, sending as little as 1p but writing abuse and threats as payment references.

On one occasion, his victim was forced to abandon a pub visit with a friend because Purnell was there, but after she arrived home she heard "bashing" on her front door, Jenny Yeo, prosecuting, said.

Purnell then appeared around the back of the property and "started hitting his head against the door" and shouting "I'm coming for you".

In a statement read to the court, Purnell's victim said she had been "living in fear of my life on a daily basis" and was "constantly on edge".

James Evans, defending, said Purnell had been "using a great deal of cocaine at the time" but was "completely free of that drug now".

Of the defendant's conduct, Mr Evans said Purnell "regrets it bitterly".

Judge David Wynn Morgan told Purnell: "You are a mean and vindictive individual, and you subjected [your victim] to a particularly unpleasant period of time [and] made her life extremely unpleasant.

"Some of the means you adopted were quite sophisticated."

At a previous court appearance, Purnell admitted one charge of stalking involving fear of violence, and he has spent the last seven and a half months on remand - the equivalent of serving a 15-month custodial sentence, the court heard.

"If you were coming before the court a month or so after your initial appearance in the magistrates' court, you would be going straight to prison," the judge told him, adding that because of the time spent remanded into custody, the defendant would instead be issued a two-year community order.

Purnell, of Panteg Terrace, Newbridge, Caerphilly, must also complete 12 days of rehabilitation activity and a specialist course, as well as paying £515 court costs.

He was also given a five-year restraining order to not contact his victim.

"If you breach [this order] I will have no hesitation to send you to prison," the judge told him.