A STALKER who targeted his pregnant ex-partner after being convicted of three previous domestically aggravated crimes has been barred from going anywhere near her.

Christopher Murray was told by Sheriff Joseph Hughes that his latest offence of lurking outside the woman's Inverclyde home and repeatedly phoning her was a 'concern'.

Murray, 34, was spotted by the woman 'tucked in against a wall' beneath her living room window after she ended their nine-month relationship, Greenock Sheriff Court was told.

Prosecutor Dana Barclay said: "The complainer challenged him and he made off.

"She was pregnant with the accused's child at the time, but had already advised that she wished the relationship to be ended."

One of the phone calls Murray made to the woman was after she'd called in the police and he spoke with an officer and requested that a message of his 'love' for his victim be passed on to her.

Fiscal depute Miss Barclay said: "The accused identified himself and asked to speak with the witness.

"He requested that the police witness tell her he was sorry and that he loved her, before hanging up.

"The accused was arrested and cautioned and charged on October 27 last year and he elected to make no reply to the charge."

Murray, of Wellington Street, made a total of seven phone calls to the woman.

The court was told that she 'wishes no contact' with him.

Murray pleaded guilty to engaging in a course of conduct which caused, or was intended to cause, fear or alarm by turning up at her home uninvited and making repeated attempts to contact her.

He had also been charged with repeatedly loitering in her street and outside her home, repeatedly looking inside the property and refusing to leave but this was deleted from the charge following talks between defence lawyer Gerry Keenan and prosecutor Miss Barclay.

Mr Keenan said: "The thrust of the excessive contact from Mr Murray to the complainer was because he was told he would not be seeing the child when it was born.

"He sought to persuade her against that course of action.

"In fact, in one of the calls he stated, 'Don't cut me out of the baby's life'.

"All of the contact was with regard to his unhappiness at that state of affairs."

Solicitor Mr Keenan added: "I am not suggesting that this is anything other than a serious matter.

"I know the court will be concerned about his previous convictions.

"But in the context of how his behaviour [in this case] occurred, and the absence of criminal behaviour for some time, I would urge consideration of a community-based disposal."

"He will instruct a solicitor to start formal proceedings regarding contact with the child."

Sheriff Hughes told Murray: "I accept that your last conviction is some time ago, in 2015, and even though the other domestic convictions are quite old, from 2011 and 2012, it does concern me when someone pleads guilty to what is effectively a stalking offence."

The sheriff has deferred sentence until June 16 for a background report and an electronic tagging assessment to be compiled on Murray.

He imposed a non-harassment order, preventing him from approaching or contacting his victim, or attempting to do so, for three years with immediate effect.