A THUG who terrorised his police officer girlfriend has been caged over a campaign of abuse.

Gareth Nicholas began hounding Barrhead Police Constable Carrie-Ann McNab after their split. He inundated her with abusive texts, phone calls and voicemails and smashed her living room window with a brick after threatening her.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard how Nicholas sent insults by text then turned up at her home and refused to leave, leading to his arrest.

He appeared in court over the incident and was released on bail but continued to hound PC McNab.

In March she was awoken at 5am one morning by “a loud bang” in her home while a seven-year-old was asleep in the property.

She went downstairs to find a brick on the floor and glass around the living room – damage that cost £1,000 to repair.

She then checked her phone, which revealed Nicholas, 35, had called her 26 times between 3am and 4am – and left her 18 voicemails.

The voicemails from Nicholas included threats such as “I’m going to do you damage, you f****** c***”.”

In July, Nicholas, who moved to Swansea after being released on bail, failed to appear at a hearing.

And last month, he hounded her again, contacting her from a withheld number and telling her his bail conditions – which had included being banned from Scotland, except for court hearings – had changed.

He told her: “I’m allowed to contact you now.” This contact was reported to police and Nicholas was even texting her while officers were at PC McNab’s home following up the incident. Nicholas had previously admitted his guilt over the offences – and breaching a bail curfew by going drinking – and returned to the dock last Thursday to be sentenced.

Defence solicitor Brian Murphy said Nicholas was a changed man after spending the last three-and-a-half weeks in custody, adding: “He recognises the victim should be allowed to live her life without this sort of harassment.”

Sheriff Craig Harris slammed Nicholas, saying: “This has been a campaign of abuse directed towards [PC McNab].”

He caged Nicholas for 100 days and imposed 300 hours’ unpaid work and a nonharassment order in order to prevent him from contacting PC McCabe.