A MAN who trashed the Dudley flat he shared with his girlfriend when their relationship hit the rocks has been given a three month curfew.

Spurned Lee Coates caused £1,200 "gratuitous" damage as he used a knife to slash a mattress, settee and wardrobe, said Paul Spratt, prosecuting.

He said Coates, aged 20, had moved out of the rented property in Summer Lane, Lower Gornal, after the split but he still had a key to the premises.

The items he damaged belonged to his former partner, who had not had the opportunity to take them away, added Mr Spratt.

Unemployed Coates, now living in Walker Street, Tipton, admitted criminal damage and he was given a 12 month community order, coupled with the three month night-time curfew.

Recorder Derek Chinnery told him, "Only you know what drove you to do it but it was a particularly unpleasant way of venting your revenge."

Adrian Stephens, defending, told Wolverhampton Crown Court the flat had been unoccupied at the time and the couple had been in dispute over the rent.

"They had argued over who was going to pay the rent, they separated and they had both gone their separate ways," added Mr Stephens.