27 JUL 2017
A man has been jailed after threatening to put a “bullet” in an anti-hunt campaigner.
Ivor Derek Wilkinson appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court having previously pleaded guilty to three counts of sending offensive messages on Facebook to Judith Hewitt.
Following the case Ms Hewitt welcomed the sentence, explaining how she hoped it would act as a warning to others making threats.
The court heard Ms Hewitt was an admin for online site ‘Stop Terrier Work’, and she was accused of putting up a Facebook message regarding Wilkinson’s son, something she strenuously denied.
Wilkinson, 49, of Chapel Street in Upper Brynamman, Ammanford , took it upon himself to send a number of Facebook messages to Ms Hewitt – believing she was the one responsible for the posts.
He said: “You picked on the wrong guy, how dare you pick on my son.
“If you ever post it again I will come for you.”
She responded that it was the first time she had seen his son, but he responded further, with threats that he would “put a bullet” in her.
Wilkinson’s messages were sent on the dates of November 22, 2016, January 25, 2017 and January 26, 2017.
A personal statement from Ms Hewitt read to the court said she was “shocked and scared” believing Wilkinson would come to her door and shoot her.
Mitigating, Laura Sherwood said: “He is sorry for his actions. He did it out of anger over the posts about his son.
“His son received a number of death threats and took it very personally and reacted in the wrong way.”
District judge Richard Williams said: “You were aggrieved by something you saw on so-called social media and decided you were going to raise your concerns about it with the person you thought had been responsible.
“Your tone was menacing saying you would come for her and threatening you would put a bullet in her.
“There was determination on your part that you wanted to frighten and intimidate her.
“I have come to the conclusion that only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified.
“This gratuitous behaviour on social media is a plague. People say hurtful and offensive things which are there until they are deleted and have a significant impact on the recipient.
“This type of behaviour is intolerable. Your thoughts of hunting with animals or not hunting with animals are irrelevant.”
Wilkinson was sentenced to 28 days in prison for each of the three offences, to run concurrently, meaning he will only serve 28 days.
A restraining order was also made for him not to contact Ms Hewitt.
Speaking after the hearing, Ms Hewitt, who has been campaigning against the practice of hunting with dogs for the last 26 years, said: “I’m glad that justice has been done.
“I do think it should have perhaps been a little bit more because I think the court sends a message to people they can’t get away with treating people like this online – especially people they don’t even know.
“It can be quite frightening when it’s someone you don’t know. You should not be receiving death threats from people you do not know.
“It’s been a horrible experience and has affected my health.
“I have suffered a lot of online abuse through my campaigning and suffered with depression after 2014, so seeing Wilkinson’s messages to me, it was very tough.”
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