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Basingstoke man weeps about threats
4:00pm Sunday 12th August 2012 in News
A MAN who sent threatening text messages to a witness, burst into tears when he stood before justices.
North Hampshire Magistrates were told how a feud between friends over payment for a computer escalated into threats of violence.
Prosecutor Clare Hartman said Jake Wainwright, of Mitchell Gardens, Brighton Hill, told his former friend Krishnan Pujara that he would, “put on my overalls and go to work” on him if he did not get the police to drop charges Mr Pujara had made about their mutual friend “Christian”.
Mrs Hartman said the row started when Mr Pujara agreed to sell Christian an iMac computer and gave him a period in which to pay.
When he failed to pay in time, Mr Pujara had gone to the police.
Wainwright became involved when the police searched his house, which he shares with his mother, hoping they would find Christian there.
Mrs Hartman said Wainwright sent a series of threatening messages to Mr Pujara on June 7 and June 8.
They culminated in a final message sent in the early afternoon on June 8 which ended: “You have got 10 minutes to reply or I’m going for a walk.”
Defending Wainwright, who was visibly upset throughout the hearing in Winchester, Holly Huxtable said the computer deal did not directly concern the defendant.
She said that when interviewed, Wainwright, 20, told officers he didn’t realise it was an offence to send such messages.
Miss Huxtable added: “He is terrified of going to prison. He did not visit Mr Pujara and never intended to harm him.”
She said Wainwright, who was unemployed, had some temporary work lined up doing jobs for his uncle.
Sentencing the defendant, who admitted intimidating a witness, presiding magistrate Owen Collins described the offences as “very serious”.
Wainwright was handed a sentence of 12 weeks imprisonment for each of the two charges of intimidating a witness, to run concurrently. The sentences were suspended for 18 months.
Wiping tears from his eyes, Wainwright thanked the magistrates repeatedly as he left the court.