A SPURNED lover has been jailed for sending indecent pictures of his ex-partner to her friends, family and colleagues after their relationship came to an end.

James Melville, 52, distributed the snaps in anger, believing the woman had found someone else after he discovered “intimate” pictures she had taken of herself on her phone.

He threatened to distribute the images around Renfrew and then followed through on the threat.

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Melville, who lived in Renfrew at the time but later moved to Johnstone, sent the images to seven people via Facebook.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard this had left them “alarmed and disgusted” and led to the police being alerted.

Melville admitted the offence, which took place between January 4 and July 17 last year, at a hearing last month.

He pleaded guilty to a revenge porn charge under the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016, admitting sending intimate pictures of the woman through Facebook to her brother, sister-in-law, two nieces, a colleague and a former neighbour with the intent of causing her “fear, alarm or distress.”

Melville also pleaded guilty to stalking the woman – who can’t be named for legal reasons – by inundating her colleagues with texts requesting that messages be sent to her and posting pictures of her and her family on Facebook alongside “abusive and offensive remarks.”

When he returned to the dock last week to be sentenced, the court was told he had been a law-abiding citizen until he turned 50, when his relationship with the woman broke down.

Defence solicitor Jonathan Mason told the court Melville had found a number of “intimate pictures” the woman had taken of herself in sexual situations which she had sent to a “third party.”

He added: “It was fair for him to come to the conclusion that she was having a relationship with this third party.

“He then found out she was living with this third party. His life has been turned upside down.”

Mr Mason said Melville, who previously worked as a tour guide, was “embarrassed and ashamed” by his actions and asked for leniency for him, saying he could do unpaid work as part of a Community Payback Order.

However, Sheriff Tom McCartney said there was only one way he could deal with Melville and caged him for six months.

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The judge said: “These actions were intended to cause distress and there can be no doubt that it would do so. In my assessment, the gravity of these offences is such that only a prison sentence is appropriate.”