Jail for sending threatening texts

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man who sent threatening messages to his ex-partner was banned from entering the city for seven years when he appeared at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court.

Daniel Christopher Smiley (31), of Winchester Park, pleaded guilty to harassment, making a threat to kill and improper use of electronic communications over a two-week period in April. One message sent to his ex-partner read: ‘I hope you get cancer and die’.

The ban and a seven-month jail sentence were imposed by District Judge Barney McElholm.

The court heard Smiley made a threat to kill one of her friends, because he believed she was in a new relationship with him.

Smiley also threatened to “put one right in your nut, cut your head off and take the wain while you bleed to death”.

The court heard the defendant made further threats to try to discourage her from reporting the messages to police.

The injured party claimed Smiley had moved to the city from Ballymena to try and control her.

Defence solicitor Ciaran McGuinness said his client intended to go back to Ballymena after release.

Jailing Smiley for seven months, District Judge Barney McElholm said: “Domestic abuse is a scourge on our society. The actions of some people trying to control and dominate the lives of others is an evil that will not be tolerated by the courts.”

The ban on entering the city formed part of a restraining order which also banned him from threatening the injured party.