Man sentenced for ‘have that cash or I’ll smash you around' threats

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A MAN who sent threats to a former childhood friend has been sentenced to 90 hours’ community service and a 12-month restraining order.

The Magistrate’s Court heard that Ryan Paul Howes (30) sent several threatening text messages on 2 December, including one stating: ‘Have that cash or I’ll smash you around.’

On New Year’s Day he left voicemail messages, which included one stating: ‘I’ve smashed people around for a lot less than a couple of hundred quid.’

It continued: ‘Don’t call the police. Keep your mouth shut.’

Crown Advocate Lauren Taylor, prosecuting, said Howes worked as a carpenter and had had a disagreement with his former friend over payment for some work he had done.

She said of the victim: ‘The messages created a profound sense of fear and anxiety within him.’

Howes admitted two charges of using words that were threatening or abusive.

Advocate Chris Baglin, defending, said that the victim had also sent threatening messages to Howes but that he had deleted them.

He added: ‘Many of the threats were empty. At no point has Mr Howes visited violence on the victim.

‘The complainant later went to Howes’s house and started a fight. That doesn’t chime with someone who was frightened or anxious.’

The Magistrate, Bridget Shaw, told Howes that the fact the threats were sent electronically made no difference.

She said: ‘These were very nasty threats. They were of a criminal nature.

‘It’s no defence to say you are a keyboard warrior. Sitting there at a keyboard, you are committing offences.’

The restraining order bans Howes from having any direct or indirect contact with the victim for a year.

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