RIYADH:- A Saudi man has been condemned to 40 lashes for sending hundreds of threatening messages to his former wife on WhatsApp.

A courtinfo-icon in the western Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah also ruled that the woman has the right to attend her ex-husband's lashing gathering.

The divorced couple are held in a longstanding custody battle over their three children, due to which the ex-husband sent more than 600 threatening messages to his spouse, reports The Daily Mail.

The messages were described as 'obscene, offensive, derogatory, sexually explicit, insulting and slandering', according to Saudi Arabiainfo-icon news website Okaz.

They also reportedly included 'accusations about her presentation and morality'.

This is the first time, a Saudi man has been punished under the Anti-Cyber Crime Law for sending demeaning messages on WhatsApp.

Article 3 of the Saudi Anti-Cyber Crime Law declares that any person who commits 'defamation and infliction of damage upon others' using technological devices might face imprisonment for up to a year and a fine not exceeding 500,000 Saudi Riyal.

A year ago, two women were sentenced to 10 lashes each after abusing each other via WhatsApp.

In 2016, two women were jailed for 10 days and sentenced to 20 lashes each after they used 'impermissible expressions' in a heated text exchange on the smartphone app.

In 2015, a court in eastern part of the kingdom also sentenced a 32-year-old woman to 70 lashes and a 20,000 Saudi Riyal fine for abusing and defaming the reputation of a man on WhatsApp.