A divorced dad subjected his estranged wife to a barrage of disgusting messages after discovering she’d joined a dating website.
Mario de Stefano, 55, sent the mother of his three children hundreds of abusive, derogatory and menacing texts – including 91 on Christmas Day alone.
Although their 23-year marriage had ended a year earlier, it wasn’t until he realised she had joined a dating website that he began his torrent of abuse via Whatsapp.
A barrage of abuse on Christmas Day
He admitted sending the abusive messages and was sentenced at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
Fiscal depute Dylan Middleton said: “The messages were sent via Whatsapp and on December 25 he sent 91 messages between 9.06pm and 22.45pm.
“These messages arrived in batches in a mixture of English and Italian. All were abusive in nature and contained swear words in both languages.”
The vile insults included him branding her a “bitch in heat” and wishing she’d “die of Aids”.
“He then targeted the abuse towards his daughter,” Mr Middleton added. “It was due to these comments about their daughter that the complainer contacted the police.”
‘Now accepts marriage is over’
De Stefano was taken into custody by police in Glasgow, where he now lives.
His defence agent David Sutherland said his client was now “ashamed” of his behaviour.
“He seemed clearly unable to accept the end of the relationship,” he said. “He now accepts the marriage is over and there’s no prospect of rekindling it.
“He expressed regret over the matter. He says his wife didn’t deserve the fairly appalling manner in which he behaved towards her.”
No previous trouble with the law
Sheriff William Summers told the accused his “appalling course of conduct must have been distressing” for the family in question.
“But I recognise you have never been in trouble before so I am prepared to deal with this by way of a fine,” he added.
De Stefano, formerly of Oldmeldrum and now of Shettlestone Road in Glasgow, was fined £940 and made subject to a non-harassment order for the next three years.