A stalker who sent text messages including “Get yourself a fire extinguisher, it's going to get a little smoky" escaped prison thanks to a sympathetic letter from his victim.

Daniel Rowlands, 27, of Stanley Street, Blackwood, appeared in Cardiff Crown Court yesterday (Tues) to be sentenced for burglary, assault by beating and stalking involving fear of violence on September 2 and 3 this year.

He also texted ex-partner Jade Davies: "Don't wear anything flammable" and "you're lying all the time, I'm going to kill you I swear".

James Evans, prosecuting, said on one occasion the defendant followed Ms Davies home from work to her mother’s house in Crumlin. She became aware of movement in the house after he texted her asking "Who's that boy?" When she replied he texted: "Liar".

Mr Evans added: “He went into the complainant’s room, started looking through the drawers for evidence of some kind of infidelity.

“He aimed a punch at the complainant. Fortunately that didn’t make contact. Then he pushed her with both hands to the chest.

“Her mother came up to find out what was going on. The defendant became frightened and began to cry. The defendant followed her downstairs and fortunately he then left.

“A mobile telephone and an Android tablet computer had been taken.”

The defendant made full admission to the crimes when questioned in a police interview. He was remanded in custody after his arrest.

Judge David Wynn Morgan, sentencing, said: “[Jade Davies] has written a very eloquent letter to the court to say that whatever your relationship is at the moment, the fact is you are someone who would benefit more from rehabilitation than from going to prison. Until I read the letter from her and your grandparents, that’s exactly where you were going.”

Judge Wynn Morgan (check) sentenced Rowlands to an 18 month community order including a 12 month drug rehabilitation programme, 27 sessions of a domestic abuse programme and a supervision requirement. He was also ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge.

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