A 53-year-old retired police officer whose 21-year-old girlfriend dumped him for a younger man has been sentenced to five months imprisonment, suspended for two years, after being convicted of sending obscene and threatening letters to her new boyfriend.
John Jones was told that he allowed jealousy to eat into his previous good character when Angel Carson left him for Eugene McManus.
The former RUC reservist denied sending Mr McManus an anonymous note asking: “Did that Prod b**** tell you she is s******* John Jones? Ask her.”
A police expert found the phrase on the hard disk of Jones’s computer.
Jones, from Barranderry Heights, Enniskillen, denied sending the letter and another containing a threat from the South Fermanagh Volunteers stating that the relationship had been brought to their attention, and instructing him: “You will stop seeing this woman.” It was signed ‘Captain Black’.
Mr McManus told Fermanagh Magistrates Court that he took the matter very, very seriously.
He said his anxiety grew with the arrival of each letter and he became increasingly concerned for the safety of
himself, his mother and girlfriend.
“I was fearful. I really wondered where it was going to end,” he stated.
Passing sentence District Judge Liam McNally referred to the sinister and insidious references within the letter and said he accepted that Mr McManus was left greatly concerned for himself and his family.
In suspending the jail sentence the District Judge said he was taking into account Jones previous good record and the valuable contribution he had made to society as a police reservist, a member of St John Ambulance and all the other voluntary organisations to which he gave his time.
Convicting him of all three charges District Judge Liam McNally said he was
satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Jones was upset when the relationship ended and wanted it to continue. He also accepted the evidence of Marian Farrell that Jones had referred to Mr McManus as a “Fenian” and pointed out that the exact words from one of the letters were found on Jones’s home computer.
The District Judge said that while none of the other letters were found on the computer they all referred to Angel Carson as “that Prod b****” leaving him in no doubt at all they were prepared by the same person. He said all but one were addressed in a similar fashion, confirming his belief that they were sent by the same person. He was also satisfied that no-one else had access to Jones’s computer.