A DAD who pulled on the handbrake of a car his ex-partner was driving while her two children were also in the back has been jailed.

The reckless behaviour of James Roberts on Pittsburgh Road in Dunfermline caused the woman to lose control of the car and caused injury to her son.

He also stalked his former partner, calling her nearly 200 times, followed her and loitered around her home.

Roberts, 34, of Cook Street, Dysart, previously admitted between May 1 and 14, at an address in Dunfermline, Spar on Pittsburgh Road and elsewhere, he engaged in a course of conduct which caused his ex-partner fear or alarm in that he did follow her, approach her, contact her by phone, social media and text message, loiter outside her home address, monitor her, request that she tell him her whereabouts and restrict her from socialising, after being granted bail on April 20.

He also previously admitted that, on April 17, at Pittsburgh Road, he culpably and recklessly during the course of a car journey and while the vehicle was in motion, apply the handbrake, causing his ex-partner to lose control of the car and causing a seatbelt to tighten on the neck of a child passenger, to the child's injury.

Depute fiscal Laura McManus explained that the complainer lives with her two children and Roberts is the father of one.

On April 17, the complainer was in her house with her children and the accused.

At a certain part of the evening, Roberts said he wished to be taken home.

His ex-partner put the two children in the car and left to take him home.

During the course of the journey, there was a sound alert on a phone and Roberts accused the complainer of messaging another man.

As she didn't want to argue with the children present, she stopped the car but the accused refused to get out.

Ms McManus said: "It appears the journey continued but when driving on Pittsburgh Road, the accused abruptly grabbed the handbrake, causing her to lose control of the vehicle.

"She managed to stop it and pull into the side but her son starting crying as he got a fright.

"He had reddening to the right side of his neck."

During May, Roberts called the complainer frequently which she normally would ignore but there were also many calls from a withheld number, the court was told.

There were 74 calls from the withheld number and 117 from the accused.

By May 15, she started to receive a large number of messages.

"They were not threatening but were unwanted," Ms McManus said.

It was noted there were three separate occasions when the accused's car was seen pulling into her street and one occasion where he drove past the back window slowly.

A number of Facebook messages were also sent in an attempt to get her back but again she didn't respond.

He also approached her when she was attending the Spa store.

Defence solicitor Ian Beatson said his client suffered from PTSD and was a former serving soldier. He was medically discharged for a physical problem but also had PTSD.

"He was suffering from depression and the break-up of the relationship did not help," Mr Beatson said.

"He realises now that his behaviour was inappropriate.

"Social work thinks his attitude should be challenged.

"In my respectful submission, it would serve the community better if he is put on a community payback order.

"Mr Roberts will still have the same issues if he is in prison."

Sheriff Alastair Brown said: "Mr Roberts, I don't understand what is difficult about not grabbing a handbrake in a car when your partner and children are in the vehicle.

"And I don't understand what education you need to tell you phoning her nearly 200 times is something you don't do."

Roberts was jailed 10 months and a non-harassment order for five years was imposed.