A MAN has avoided jail for removing wheel nuts from his ex-partner’s car which a judge said could have had “horrific consequences”.

Helen Belcher felt the wheel was loose as she reversed from a space on Wednesday and found nuts missing from a wheel.

She had set up CCTV outside her home in Brunstock Beck, Didcot, over concerns that Adrian Kent, 43, would try to contact her, a judge heard. Kent, of Leach Road, Berinsfield, admitted damaging property belonging to Miss Belcher at Oxford Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Prosecutor Ann Sawyer-Brendish said CCTV recorded him removing the nuts at 5.52am on the day of the incident and the wheel “nearly fell off” when she drove her car.

They had known each other for about 25 years and she had declined his attempt to start a relationship, said the prosecution.

However, Laurence Wilson, defending, said Kent said they had been in a relationship.

Mrs Wilson said he was angry Miss Belcher had refused to pay back £500 he lent her.

Mrs Wilson said Kent was “not intending to hurt her” and knew it was “impossible” for her to get far through his knowledge of vehicles through his warehouse job at Rudolph and Hellmann Automotive, Cowley.

District judge Tim Pattinson gave Kent a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months with a curfew order, ordered him to pay £200 compensation, £80 victims’ surcharge and £85 costs.

He also imposed a restraining order not to contact Miss Belcher except through solicitors.