AN angry builder who threatened, from behind bars, to murder his former business partner has been given another jail term.

Burnley Crown Court was told how father-of-two Lee Francis Pilkington and his ‘potential victim’ James Cardwell had run a firm which got into trouble.

Mr Cardwell, the father of Pilkington’s now ex-partner Amanda Cardwell, had stood a £71,000 loss himself, but the defendant, who had money worries and claimed he lost his house because of the problems, insisted he didn’t know.

Pilkington, 44, made the death threat through a mental health nurse after he was sent to prison for 16 months, for smashing up his own ‘matrimonial home’ in Haweswater Road, Huncoat, and leaving a £27,000 trail of destruction after his relationship with Ms Cardwell fell apart.

He had also been sentenced for twice almost ramming Ms Cardwell’s car with her and her mother in it.

The defendant, who had admitted damage and dangerous driving, was locked up last September. Police waited at the gates to arrest him when he was released on December 27.

Now, he has been convicted by a jury of making a threat to kill in November. He was given a 284-day jail term.

The defendant, formerly of Whalley Road, Accrington, was cleared of a second allegation of threatening to kill Mr Cardwell, said to have been made to a prison officer.

He was released from custody, where he had spent 142 days on remand, and police were waiting for him again, this time to escort him to a hostel out of the area.

Pilkington, who has a history of violence and damage, is still on licence from the 16-month sentence.

Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson said a period of licence was ‘vital’, adding: “It seems to me important that, at least for a limited period, steps are taken to keep you well away from Mr Cardwell and his daughter.”

The defendant received a two-year restraining order, banning him from contacting Mr Cardwell and from going onto John Street, Clayton-le-Moors, where he lives. Pilkington is already subject to a restraining order, extended until 2015, prohibiting contact with Ms Cardwell.

Pilkington’s solicitor Daniel King told an earlier hearing the business had suffered a steep decline, the defendant and his family had been living hand-to-mouth and he had been prescribed anti-depressants.