An “emotional bully” who posted photos of his ex-girlfriend topless and performing a sex act on Whatsapp for all his contacts to see has been spared jail.

Kenny Gough, 34, formerly of Walton Close, Chingford, also bombarded his victim with abusive texts and emails calling her a “slag” and “scum”.

Appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, Gough pleading guilty to three offences of breaching a non-molestation order imposed in March 2017 by sending emails; calling and sending Whatsapp messages; and visiting his ex-girlfriend’s home three times.

He also admitted disclosing private sexual photographs with intent to cause distress on February 5 2018.

Gough, who is now homeless, posted a picture of his ex performing a sexual act as his Whatsapp profile image before replacing it 30 minutes later with a photo of her topless.

In her victim impact statement, the woman said: "I feel like an emotional wreck and on edge all the time just waiting for the next thing he is going to do. I am anxious, stressed and cannot sleep."

Judge Christopher Morgan handed him a nine month suspended sentence and ordered him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and undergo drug and other rehabilitation.

Sentencing, Judge Morgan said: "You bombarded your ex-partner with messages of a generally abusive nature and what you were trying to do was to denigrate her.

"You were trying to abuse her so that you could gain some advantage. This was emotional bullying of a serious degree."

He added: "She was, as she describes herself, an emotional wreck.

"Then to reinforce the power that you thought you held over her and to exploit her vulnerability even further you then disclosed on a public forum a photograph exposing her in a sexual position."

Judge Morgan said the reason he was not imposing an immediate jail sentence was because there had been a break since Gough's previous offending.

In addition to the sentence, a restraining order was imposed, banning Gough from contacting his ex directly or indirectly and from going to any address where she lives for the next five years.

Prosecutor Timothy Sleigh-Jefferson said messages sent by Gough included "you slag" and "scum" and "I will end up punching you in the face".

Gough had a previous caution from 2013 for sending an indecent or grossly offensive electronic communication.