A "CRUEL" Halesowen businessman has been jailed for orchestrating a terrifying hate campaign against his former girlfriend that ended with her car being petrol bombed.

Robert McNaughton was bitter because Sharon McCann refused to rekindle their relationship after he was released from prison.

The 51-year-old, who was a director of Refuse Derived Fuel Ltd (RDF) in Brierley Hill, had served a six-month prison sentence for failing to clear a mammoth pile of rubbish off Moor Street, that reached 42-feet at its height and caused misery for people living nearby.

McNaughton recruited a cell mate, who in turn brought in another man, who carried out a string of attacks on Miss McCann's home.

Judge Simon Ward told McNaughton that the campaign of criminal damage had been "designed to damage her emotionally".

He said McNaughton wanted the hairdresser and mother-of-two to believe he was her only hope of bringing the frightening campaign to an end.

"You were her only hope - because you were behind it," said the judge.

McNaughton had created the illusion that he was also the victim of a gang of Romanians, who he maintained were behind the damage as he continued to play "mind games" with his ex-partner of eight years.

"This amounts to a cruel, calculating campaign to manipulate this woman's emotions," the judge told Wolverhampton Crown Court.

He said McNaughton, of Tenter Drive, Halesowen, had caused "terror" to Miss McCann - who had since sold her home and moved to Spain.

The court was told that tyres on vehicles parked outside Miss McCann's home were punctured and liquid was poured onto the cars.

Bricks were also thrown through windows in the house and red paint caused further damage to the house, said Peter Arnold, prosecuting.

The final act was the petrol bombing of the car which was reduced to a charred shell, with flames spreading to the front door.

The occupants of the property were on alert after the earlier attacks and they were able to escape unharmed, added Mr Arnold.

In a victim impact statement, Miss McCann described how her life had been ruined by the hate campaign waged against her.

She said she had been left extremely frightened and scared and felt like she was being constantly watched which put her in "great fear."

McNaughton had pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal damage but he was found guilty by a jury at the end of his trial and jailed for five years.

Prior to start of McNaughton's trial, Matthew Barker, aged 42 from Leicester, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit criminal damage, while 20-year-old Joden Smith, also from Leicester, admitted the conspiracy charge and arson and being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Barker was jailed for 43 months and Smith was sent to a Young Offenders Institution for four years.

McNaughton had stressed to the jury in evidence he had never paid anyone to cause damage or harm Miss McCann and he said he played no part in the attacks on her home.