A GREENOCK prisoner who breached a non-harassment order by writing several letters to his ex from behind bars has been handed further jail time.

Patrick Donnachie ignored a court directive issued in February last year requiring him to refrain from any form of communication with his former partner.

The 43-year-old sent a two-page handwritten letter to the woman in October 2023 asking her to send him money after backdated benefits to the tune of thousands of pounds were paid out while he was still in custody.

Donnachie pleaded guilty to breaching the NHO - which still has a further two years left to run - at a hearing on Tuesday, a week after he was imprisoned for five months for identical offences.

The court was told this week that Donnachie and the complainer had been in an 'off and on relationship' for around seven years.

A procurator fiscal depute said a female witness, who is the current partner of the complainer, noticed a letter that had been posted through her door on October 27 last year.

The prosecutor said that the handwriting was 'immediately recognised' to be Donnachie's and there were various requests in the note asking for money to be transferred to him.

Defence solicitor Aidan Gallagher said that Donnachie had received backdated benefits payments totalling more than £3,000 while he was in custody and did not have a bank account, so part of the money was paid to his ex.

Police attended the complainer's address on November 3 to take statements and the letter was seized.

Mr Gallagher said: "The reason for the writing of that letter is that he received information from a third party that his ex had half of the money that was paid out.

"He is apologetic within the letter and he is expressing certain emotions as well.

"He accepts that the order is in place and will remain in place.

"He accepts that she has moved on and there is no malice within the letter itself."

The lawyer added that there was 'nothing threatening' within the letter or in the other written messages Donnachie had sent to the woman.

Sheriff Sean Lynch said: "I regard this as a serious matter, it is a very clear breach of the order and custody is the only way of dealing with this."

Donnachie received a three-month prison term to be served at the same time as his current sentence.