A serving prisoner who threatened to kick a probation officer’s head in over a video link has had his prison sentence extended.
Mitchell Reynolds, 21, appeared – via video link from HMP Lewes – at Swindon Magistrates’ Court charged with sending an indecent/offensive message using electronic communication with the intent to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient.
Crown prosecutor Keith Ballinger said that the defendant was serving a prisoner at Wiltshire’s HMP Erlestoke at the time of the offence, committed in August last year. At yesterday’s hearing, he appeared from a different prison where he is serving a 15-week sentence for burglary in Southampton.
The point of the meeting with probation officer Alisha Jones, over a video link, was to see if he could be released early. During the conversation, Reynolds became aggressive.
He said: “I’d rather stay here until February. If they let me out, I’ll kick your head in.” Adding: “F**k off you slag”, which Ms Jones took to have a sexist connotation. The call was ended.
Ms Jones, who has met Reynolds in person on several occasions, is said to have been worried about whether he would carry out the act when he is released from prison.
His solicitor told the court that the defendant was punished for his actions by the prison. He lost ‘some privileges’ and ‘a few’ extra days were imposed on his sentence.
“It was a turn of phrase, rather than a threat. It was not something he would carry out”, his advocate added. “He had since found the right probation officer for him and now gets on well with them”.
Labelling it a “nasty incident”, magistrates imposed a four-week custodial sentence to run immediately following the end of his current sentence. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £128 victim surcharge.