Man escapes jail term over threat to petrol bomb ex-partner’s home

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A man threatened to petrol bomb his ex-girlfriend’s house and send people to assault her.

Lee Johnstone told the terrified woman he wouldn’t stop until she was dead.

At Jedburgh Sheriff Court, Johnstone, 20, of Ramsay Road, admitted repeatedly making threats through a text message and a telephone call at a house at Graden Farm Cottages, Kelso, on November 1.

He also admitted telephoning his former partner and threatening her with continuing harassment and violence on November 2.

Depute fiscal Tessa Bradley said the couple had been in a relationship since June 2009, and moved in together at an address in Kelso.

“Cracks in the relationship began to show not long after they moved in, and the relationship deteriorated,” continued Miss Bradley.

After it ended, the woman received a text on her mobile phone from the accused.

“She attended at Kelso Police Station and was in the process of giving a statement when her phone rang,” continued Miss Bradley.

Police told her to answer the call and to put it on loudspeaker. The accused’s voice was recognised and he was abusive on the phone.

They heard Johnstone say he was going to send people to assault his ex-girlfriend and petrol bomb her house.

He also said he was going to punch his ex-girlfriend and wouldn’t stop until she was dead.

Johnstone added he was “having too much fun”.

Defence lawyer Rory Bannerman said his client had a “rocky relationship” and Johnstone’s behaviour was “completely unacceptable” when they split.

He said the accused went “completely over the score, making threats which were intimidating and violent in their nature”.

He said there was no ongoing contact between the couple and his client had now “moved on” and “learned a valuable lesson”.

Sheriff Donald Corke said he had considered imprisonment, but instead imposed an alternative sentence of 120 hours’ community service.

“I did consider sending you to prison, having been told that you consider yourself above the law,” he warned Johnstone, “but I’m narrowly persuaded that you should do community service instead.”