AN ONLINE romance turned into a nightmare for a Sandown mum when her new friend crossed The Solent to stay with her during lockdown.

Isle of Wight magistrates heard how drunken Matthew Derek Baughan left the woman in fear for her and her daughters' safety when he smashed her television against a wall, on January 18.

She had developed an on-line relationship with Baughan, of Leyton Road, Northam, Southampton, and he had, despite the country being in total lockdown — prohibiting unnecessary travel — come to the Isle of Wight, where he was met by her off the ferry.

At her home, jobless Baughan drank a cocktail of cider, beer and vodka, said Liz Miller, prosecuting, at the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court this week.

Shortly after the woman went to bed in her daughters' room, she could hear Baughan, 30, make a crashing sound and, fearing he was smashing up her home, called the police.

On their arrival, they discovered Baughan asleep on the floor and found a television destroyed, after it had been hurled against a wall, the bench was told.

In her victim impact statement, she said the incident had affected her more than words could say — but that she was in fear of what he could have potentially done, rather than did, at the time of the incident.

The mum of two said during lockdown the television was her lifeline and that she could not afford to replace it.

Baughan, an alcoholic, admitted causing criminal damage to the flat screen television, worth £600.

The court was told Baughan has a history of violent behaviour.

For Baughan, Oscar Vincent said his client had confessed to the damage, was sorry and offered to pay to replace the television.

He made no threats to the woman and said he 'felt bad' about what happened, Mr Vincent added.

"He has been alcohol dependent over the past decade and has mental health problems," Mr Vincent told the bench.

Baughan was ordered to pay £600 compensation, with £85 costs.

When sentencing Baughan, presiding magistrate, Keith Jones said: "Although no threats were made, imagine what the woman went through with all the banging and crashing going on. It would've been scary for her."