A man threatened to kill himself in a phone call to his probation officer if she did not help him see his ex-partner and children, a court heard.
Dean Reynolds, 27, appeared before Swindon magistrates this afternoon via video link from HM Prison Coldingley in Surrey charged with sending an offensive message via a public communication network. He pleaded guilty to the offence.
Crown prosecutor Keith Ballinger said the defendant, formerly of Metis Close, Oakhurst, was on license following his release from prison for drugs offences at the time of this incident and has subsequently been recalled. He was sentenced to 50 months in 2017.
His probation officer used to meet with Reynolds every two weeks, but since the coronavirus pandemic, the meets have been replaced with fortnightly phone calls. She said he was always polite, professional and on time.
On 4 February this year, she noticed a missed call from the defendant at around 9.30am but wasn’t due a call with him. She decided to ring him back and noticed he sounded low and solemn.
He told her he was going to be recalled, but when she asked him why he launched into an emotional rant about wanted his ex-partner and children back.
Reynolds told the probation officers that if she didn’t make it happen, he would slit his throat. He repeatedly made the same threat and other threats relating to harming himself.
She tried to sympathise with him, but he continued making threats which she labelled as “very explicit”. In a victim impact statement, she wrote that the words “shocked her” and she cried following the incident – citing the pressure of trying to stop him from harming himself.
In a police interview about the matter, Reynolds said he was very stressed, had lost contact with his ex-partner and children, and wants them back in his life. He admitted his wrongdoing, stating he was sorry, in a dark place and hadn’t meant to frighten her.
Defending, Emma Hillier said that her client feels “feels completely humiliated and embarrassed by the event”, adding that he was desperate to see his children.
She said the defendant was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Doctors were exploring whether he has bipolar disorder before he was recalled to prison.
After hearing the sad circumstances, magistrates imposed a £120 fine and a £34 victim surcharge.
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