A MAN travelled round Fife with weapons and a Darth Vader mask in a bid to find and harm his former partner, a court has heard.

Kevin Spratley, 48, bombarded his former lover with texts and emails, contacted the Chinese takeaway where she worked, following which she was sacked, made chilling threats of violence, and repeatedly turned up at her home uninvited.

Spratley and the woman had been involved in an "on-off" relationship which finally ended in January 2020, the court was told.

But Spratley continued to contact the woman, of Kinglassie, using a number of different mobile phones.

He referred to her as "taking to cheating like a duck to water" and added "when the hunter came and blew out the duck's brain, no-one gave a f**k".

He threatened to "hit her where it will hurt -- family and financially" and sent a message to the a Chinese takeway in Markinch, where the woman worked, claiming that she had a "severe issue with alcohol" and the business should be "extremely cautious" about continuing to employ her.

Her boss forwarded her the message -- and shortly afterwards terminated her employment, on which she had been financially reliant.

In February 2020, Spratley turned up at her house in Kinglassie, shouting "You are scum" at her bedroom window when she was in bed.

Later he tried to get in through her kitchen window, saying "Let me in, you've got someone in there" and demanding to check the house.

Then he left her a voicemail saying, "Seen it all before, big, big, big, big, big mistake. Bye."

Prosecutor Michael Maguire said: "[She] perceived this as a threat."

In other calls, Spratley asked her: "Are you ready to die? Hell is coming" and told her "You've got 12 hours to get James out of the house or his wife and kids are going to know".

Mr Maguire said she had no idea who "James" was.

Spratley then messaged saying he wished he was Hannibal Smith "as his plans always come together " -- a reference the character's catchphrase in '80s TV show The A-Team.

After he voice-messaged the woman’s mother, calling his victim a "dirty, filthy whore", he was arrested and appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on March 2nd, 2020, and released on bail conditions not to approach or contact her in any way.

But he continued to message her, and then on March 12, 2020, police conducting enquiries into a reportedly stolen car stopped a Vauxhall Corsa in Glenrothes.

Two men ran off -- leaving the driver to talk to police.

In the boot, officers found a black rucksack -- containing a hammer, pliers, bolt cutters, a 16-inch long metal pole covered with tape, Sellotape, scissors, snips, a bungee cord, a black Darth Vader-style mask, and a rope.

Mr Maguire said: "The driver stated that the accused had approached him a few days prior requesting that he drove him around in order to find his former partner and her new boyfriend.

"He said he had seen the accused placing a black rucksack in the boot before they went out driving."

When the driver asked Spratley about the tools, mask and rope, Spratley said he was "going to do [the woman] and her new boyfriend some serious damage".

The man said that Spratley had been "travelling around Fife searching for them", checking his former partner’s Facebook for "possible associates of her".

Spratley, by now on the run, WhatsApped her saying: "I'm going to jail anyway, so you'd better hope they get me before I get you, you dirty cow."

Spratley was arrested after stealing a different car and abandoning it in Seton Road, Glenrothes, after speeding away from police.

An axe, with his DNA on it, was found under the driver's seat.

Spratley, of Glenrothes, who appeared in the dock at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Tuesday, April 6, flanked by guards, pleaded guilty to engaging in a course of domestic abuse, including the allegation that he "did travel round Fife with a bag containing tools, a mask and rope, stating it was to harm [the woman]", car theft, possession of the axe, and breach of bail.

Sheriff Derek Hamilton deferred sentence until May 4, continuing Spratley's remand in custody.

He said: "Given the nature of this matter, I want to know a bit more about Mr Spratley."

Solicitor-advocate Alan Jackson, defending, reserved mitigation.