AN UNEMPLOYED Ellesmere man who sent threatening messages to a neighbour on Facebook has escaped immediate custody.
Drew Halligan, 20, had targeted Daniel Wray using several unpleasant phrases, including “see you in a coffin”.
The messages were sent in October last year and the victim believed the comments were linked to a court case in which he was a witness and contacted the police.
At Shrewsbury Crown Court last week Halligan was sentenced to eight months at a Young Offenders’ Institution which was suspended for 12 months.
He was also ordered to complete 36 hours unpaid work at Willowdene Farm, near Bridgnorth, and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge.
Halligan, of Berwyn Close, Ellesmere, who had admitted a charge of witness intimidation, was told by Recorder Simon Ward that he had been lucky to escape immediate custody.
At an earlier hearing the incident had been described as ‘childish bullying’' and Halligan had been warned that custody was an option.
Mr Bernard Linnemann, for Halligan, said the exchange on Facebook had begun when his client had sent a message to the victim’s sister trying to chat her up.
He said it then became less pleasant, but Halligan understood what he had done and had shown remorse.