A MAN banned from his ex-wife's property by a non-molestation order answered the door when police investigated an anonymous tip-off.

Blackburn magistrates heard Paul McLaughlin had actually been staying at the flat above his wife's home with the blessing of the police.

McLaughlin, 57, of Portland Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to breach of a non-molestation order. He was fined £80 with £85 costs and £34 victim surcharge.

Diane Jackson, prosecuting, said police received a third party report that McLaughlin was staying with his ex-wife in breach of the non-molestation order which was put in place in May.

"He answered the door to the police," said Miss Jackson.

"Debra McLaughlin told the police she had invited him in to her home and that she had written to the court to get the order removed. This is the first breach."

Peter King, defending, said the address his client gave on Portland Street was not his ex-partner's address but the flat above.

He said in October McLaughlin had been "hounded" out of his previous accommodation and this had been reported to the police.

"They either weren't aware of the non-molestation order or disregarded it because they prompted him to go and live at the address on Portland Street," said Mr King.

"That was all well and good but she lived in the flat below."

Mr King said the relationship had rekindled in October.

"There was no romance but they were best of friends," said Mr King.

"They were under the impression that a breach could only arise if she instigated it which isn't the case.

"There are no issues between them and while he can't go back to Portland Street he has another address he can go to until the order is removed and he can return to live with his wife."