A MAN who harassed his former partner — repeatedly texting her and demanding to know how many men she had spoken to — has been given a restraining order, banning him from contacting her.

Josh Younie, 29, of Harding Road, Ryde, admitted harassment and theft, after taking her house key, when he appeared at the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court on Monday.

The court heard he repeatedly texted her following their break-up, asking what she was wearing and to send pictures of herself.

He confronted her in Cowes restaurant Coast while she was out with friends, demanding her house key as he wanted to stay over.

Ann Smout, prosecuting, said: "The victim began to cry. Her friend told her to give him the key and said they would meet him at there. Back at the property, Mr Younie refused to leave until the victim and her friend convinced him to go. She had the locks changed.

"The victim and Mr Younie were in a relationship for about a year before she ended it.

"While he was never physically abusive, he was very controlling. She worked in retail, and he demanded to know exactly when she finished work and the number of men she served in a day."

Henry Farley, defending, said Younie had not taken the break up well.

He said: "The times he asked for a picture are self explanatory. She's a pretty girl and it gives him pleasure to see a picture of her. I don't think there is anything particularly sinister about that.

"He would not agree he had been controlling. He turned up at the restaurant only to get the key from her.

"He accepts she gave him the key, probably under duress. He kept it because he was convinced if he didn't, he would never get the rest of his belongings back."

Magistrates sentenced Younie to a 15-month community order, including 250 hours of unpaid work.

He was given a 12-month restraining order and banned from her place of work.

He was also ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a surcharge of £32.

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