A 36 year-old fireman in Monaco has been acquitted after the Monaco Criminal Court heard that he had been severely provoked by his estranged wife.

The defendant had sent close to 11,000 text messages over a period of several months after his wife left him taking their three year-old and four year-old children with her, the court heard, as reported by French-language daily Monaco Matin.

In his defence, the man’s lawyer said he had found it difficult to accept that his wife would leave the marital home with their two young children to live in Cap d’Ail.

On one occasion the wife had telephoned her lover while still living with her husband, the court heard.

Having taken into account the husband’s defence and extenuating circumstances, the court acquitted him of the charge of harassing his ex-wife.