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Gazza gets restraining order for harassing ex-girlfriend

Paul Gascoigne has been fined and given a restraining order after harassing his ex-girlfriend Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been fined and issued a restraining order after pleading guilty to sending a series of abusive tweets, phone calls and messages to his ex-girlfriend.

The former footballer, 48, also pleaded guilty to assaulting paparazzi photographer Steven Shepherd and damaging his glasses after spotting him 'secretly' taking pictures of him.

The defendant's solicitor, Gavin Harris, told the court that Gascoigne has felt harassed by the photographers which had caused him to "crack" under the pressure.

Gascoigne admitted harassing his girlfriend of five years, Amanda Thomas, during a two-week period in March after they split at the end of last year.

The couple met after Gascoigne moved to the Bournemouth area where he underwent rehab treatment for alcoholism Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Gascoigne, who lives in Poole, sent a number of threatening messages and tweets accusing Amanda Thomas of being a "slag" after she began a new relationship.

The 48-year-old was sentenced to a community order for 12 months, with a 20-days' required rehabilitation.

He was issued with a two year restraining order which prevents him from contacting Amanda Thomas, and making comments or posting about her on social media.

Judge Stephen Nicholls warned Gascoigne that if he breaches the restraining order he could be jailed for up to five years.

Gascoigne was also fined £100 for the harassment and ordered to pay £235 in court costs as well as £1,000 in compensation to his former girlfriend, £100 to her new partner, £200 for the broken glasses and a £60 victim surcharge.

The harassment is aggravated by your use of Twitter, you were aware you have many followers on Twitter and as a result of the harassment it spread to many people.

You wouldn't know how people would respond and have no thought to how people would respond.

– Judge Stephen Nicholls