A former Hartlepool United footballer has narrowly avoided an immediate prison sentence after he admitted stalking an ex-girlfriend.
Paul Wratten pleaded guilty to stalking without fear alarm or distress at a hearing before Teesside Magistrates’ Court.
The 46-year-old, was handed a six-week prison sentence, suspended for a year.
He was also ordered to take part in an alcohol treatment programme for six months and 20 days of rehabilitation activity.
Wratten, of Petworth Crescent, Ingleby Barwick, was also told to pay £520 costs and £100 compensation.
A restraining order was made to keep him away from the woman for the next two years.
A midfielder in the early 1990s, Wratten made 57 first team appearances for Pools, scoring one goal, before leaving professional football, aged 24.