A councillor has been fined for threatening to kill his former lover.

Paul High, Worthing Borough Council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, left ex-fiancee Zsuszana Krammarics so terrified she fled the home they shared fearing for her life.

The 51-year-old claimed Miss Krammarics had made false allegations against him because she was "a woman scorned" and denied charges of common assault and assault by beating.

But magistrates in Worthing yesterday took just two hours to decide High had threatened his victim and found him guilty of common assault.

They ordered High to pay a fine of £660 along with £350 compensation to Miss Krammarics and court costs of £1,000.

Worthing Magistrates' Court was told that Miss Krammarics was originally employed by High as an au pair to look after his two children.

She moved into his home in Compton Avenue, Worthing, and eventually began a relationship and High proposed to her in the Dominican Republic in 2002.

Hungarian Miss Krammarics said she did not know her relationship with High was over until she returned from a three-month work placement at Camp America but in court, High said the relationship started to peter out from 2003 as he found her to be immature.

He had struck up a new relationship with his cleaner, Anetta Kendiova, which he said Miss Krammarics could not accept but he allowed her to continue living in his home so she could carry out her au pair duties.

On Sunday October 22, Miss Krammarics had spent the day trying to provoke a reaction from High by wearing a necklace and a t-shirt she had bought him because she did not want him to spend the evening with Miss Kendiova.

He said: "She was jealous of the new relationship, she did not want it to develop in the way it has. I am properly with Anetta now and we are expecting our first child. I think she thought she could get me back."

High claimed he had asked Miss Krammarics to leave and that he would find a flat for her and pay her first six months rent.

But Miss Krammarics said the councillor had come up close to her face and threatened to kill her if she did not leave the house.

She was so terrified she fled the home in her pyjamas and went to the home of Jane High, the councillor's ex-wife.

Mrs High told the court on Thursday that Miss Krammarics had been so distressed it had taken more than an hour to calm her down.

Yesterday magistrates told High they believed he had threatened to kill Miss Krammarics and found him guilty of common assault.

They cleared him of a second charge of assault by beating which Miss Krammarics claimed had happened as they shared a bed during the early hours of October 14.

Miss Krammarics, who is working on a cruise ship, was flown from Mexico and put up in a Worthing hotel at the CPS's expense for the trial.

The CPS is also paying for her to be flown back to the cruise ship in Miami.

Outside court, High said: "I am very pleased that the main allegation against me has been discharged.

"Concerning the second case, that will be put to an appeal by my barrister and I cannot comment on that any further because of the appeal situation."