An aggrieved father branded a woman a “brown-nosed deviant tart” in a series of offensive postcards sent after his son’s benefits were stopped, a court has heard.

Martin Hewstone, 68, of Vicarage Road, Twickenham, sent abusive postcards and emails to employees of Ixion Holdings, a Kingston-based company that helps unemployed people find work.

He appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, April 24, after pleading not guilty to charges of harassment without violence and sending indecent/offensive messages.

The court heard Mr Hewstone wrote several messages between July 1 and October 19 to one of the employees, Sarah Goodheart, and called her names including “tubs” and “fat face”.

Giving evidence in court Miss Goodheart said: “I felt very frightened and upset.

“I didn’t know what information he had about me and I didn’t know how far this would go.

“I was frightened he would approach me at work or turn up at my home where I live with my children.

“It has caused a lot of stress and it has caused a lot of sleep problems.”

The court heard Mr Hewstone began sending the messages after his son Daniel Hewstone had his benefits cut when he failed to attend meetings.

Prosecuting, James Tucker said Mr Hewstone claimed his son gave legitimate reasons for not attending the meetings and said those who dealt with him were “lying, thieving filth”.

Defending Mr Hewstone, Steve Carter said he felt his actions were necessary to uncover “improper processes” in the company and that he did not consider his messages harassment.

The court heard Miss Goodheart reported the messages to Ixion’s group finance corporate services director, Rachael White, who contacted Mr Hewstone to warn him they would take further action if he continued.

He replied with further abusive messages including postcards containing the words “your prostitution” as the subject.

Giving evidence in court, Mrs White said: “I was disgusted.

"I was very upset, very upset that someone could use such vile, vulgar words to an employee of mine.”

The court heard Mr Hewstone also sent abuse to Ixion’s group chief executive, John Govet, who he branded “a disgusting piece of lowlife filth”.

He also called the company’s non-executive director, Michael Thorne, “corporate filth” and said his “rent-boy antics” would disgust students.

The court heard Mr Hewstone’s son was receiving his benefits again and money withheld from him during the dispute had been reimbursed.

The trial was adjourned for legal reasons and was due to be heard again on June 26.