A man who posed a "serious risk" to his ex-wife and her family has been banned from entering Hertfordshire.

Police in the county said the 38-year-old "hounded" his ex-wife and her children after they fled their family home in Wiltshire to stay in Hertfordshire more than two years ago.

The Court of Appeal has ruled on September 13 that a restraining order which he received from London's Royal Courts of Justice is necessary because he "poses a risk", and the man is banned from both setting foot in the county and contacting his ex and her family.

According to Hertfordshire Constabulary, the victim arrived in Hertfordshire in August 2020.

The man - who has not been named to protect the victims' identities - "swamped" the woman with unwanted calls and emails.

He visited Hertfordshire on several occasions in an attempt to find the woman, arriving at some of her relatives' homes and leaving her in fear.

A police spokesperson said that on one occasion, the man grabbed a phone off one of the victims' relatives when they tried to call the police.

Hertfordshire Constabulary officers managed to arrest the man and charged him with stalking.

The courts found his behaviour did not meet the criminal threshold for stalking and he was not convicted of the offence.

Despite his acquittal, a judge at the High Court in London deemed the man still posed a risk to the victim and her family and imposed the restraining order.

The man challenged this decision, but the Court of Appeal rejected this and on September 13 ruled he "still posed a risk" to the victim.

If the 38-year-old chooses to enter Hertfordshire or contact the family, he could face arrest and prison time of up to five years.

Detective Constable Laura Weedon, of Hertfordshire Constabulary, said specialist officers are employed by the force to protect victims who have faced similar ordeals.

DC Weedon said: "The woman here said that she can finally breathe knowing he cannot hound her anymore.

"She is starting to get her life back on track."

She added: "We have and continue to support people with applications to the courts for civil orders such as restraining or stalking prevention orders, so they can live their lives with freedom, uninhibited by the actions of others.

"We are committed to tackling and preventing abuse or violence against women and girls.

"Please reach out for help if you have concerns about the behaviour of your or someone else’s partner or ex-partner

"Anyone who has any concerns about domestic abuse can contact the Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor service on 0300 790 6772. In an emergency, always call 999."