A FORMER footballer sent abusive and offensive messages to his ex after a bad break-up.

Tony Gordon Ross Richards admitted harassing a woman when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford.

Prosecutor Mark Hambling said the offence came after Richards and the victim, who had been in a relationship for three years, split up.

She contacted police to report that he had sent emails of an offensive nature to her but directed at her new partner between December 4 and February 11, the court heard.

"They were not particularly pleasant, and some abusive language was used," Mr Hambling said.

Richards was arrested and admitted sending the emails to police.

In a statement, the victim said she had been suffering from stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness after receiving the emails, and that she did not want to go out in case she bumped into him in the street.


George Cousins, for Richards, said the 'incensed' 47-year-old, who said the split had come as a result of infidelity, had taken the breakdown of his relationship badly.

"When he tried to clarify the situation, she would not speak to him," Mr Cousins said.

The court heard Richards had also turned up outside his ex-partner's workplace to return some of her belongings, leaving them at the door, after he was arrested.

"He decided to return some of her property by dropping it off at the address where she works," Mr Cousins said.

"He then left without speaking to her."

The court heard the former semi-professional footballer, who currently works as a painter and decorator, is remorseful and wants to get on with his life.

A probation report said he wanted to apologise for his behaviour, which had resulted from his struggling to accept the end of his relationship.

Richards, of Longworth Lane, Bartestree, was fined £415 and received a 12-month restraining order. He must also pay costs of £135 and a £34 victim surcharge.