A man sent his girlfriend a picture message of a handgun after they broke up saying: “Bang, bang, I’ll be watching you.”
The Valentine’s Day taunt was followed up a few days later with another which said: “Always look over your shoulder and don’t have nightmares.”
Police found the weapon at Kevin Mason’s home but it turned out to be a BB pellet gun, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Mason, aged 46, of Appleton Way, Worsbrough Bridge, Barnsley admitted harassment.
Rachael Harrison, prosecuting, said the couple’s ‘on-off’ relationship ended just before Valentine’s Day 2013.
Mason said he was angry because he’d seen the complainant’s ex-partner at her house and sent the messages to scare her.
“They were in the habit of sending each other texts of an unpleasant nature when they fell out,” said Miss Harrison.
The court heard Mason has previous convictions for assault and criminal damage.
Richard Barradell, defending, said Mason, a self-employed JCB driver, and his girlfriend were still in a relationship.
“Both have the ability to be jealous,” he added.
Judge Robert Moore said: “I’m not sure what really happened here, I suspect the complainant was not being truthful when she attended at the trial.”
He gave Mason a 12-month community order with supervision, 60 hours unpaid work, ordered him to attend a relationship group and pay £500 prosecution costs, adding: “If you kick this back in my face I will lock you up.”