Darwen man threatened to shoot ex-wife and new partner

3:48pm Monday 7th January 2013

AN angry father who threatened to shoot his ex-wife and her new man was jailed for a year and given a five-year restraining order.

Burnley Crown Court heard that Thomas Major, 34, had repeatedly phoned and texted Leah Major, the mother of his little girl, even though he was banned from doing so. He had been given the order after being convicted of battery against the victim.

But over three days in July, when he thought the two-year order had run out, he contacted her time and again, making threats. Mrs Major had believed her address was ‘safe’ and unknown to him. Major had threatened her that he would smash her face in and smash her house up.

He had told the victim and her new partner, Daniel Rudd: “I will come back with a shotgun and shoot you both in the face.”

Major, who has almost 70 offences on his record, had admitted four counts of breaching the restraining order.

The defendant, formerly of Meadows Street, Darwen, but of no fixed address, has served the equivalent of a 10-month sentence on remand and will be free within weeks.

He was given a new, five-year restraining order, prohibiting him from contac- ting the victim directly or indirectly, except through solicitors.

Major had denied making the threats. Judge Simon Newell had held a trial over the facts and ruled that he did make the threats, that the defendant had waited until he thought the order had expired before making contact, and that he had attended outside the victim's home.

The hearing was told the defendant and victim had married in 2003. She said things changed after the birth of their daughter and the order had been made in August 2010. Brian McKen-na, defending, said Major had been in custody since the end of last July. He urged the court to pass a sentence which would allow the defendant his immediate release.

Judge Newell said the threats had been offensive and had caused Leah Major a great deal of concern.

He added: “There was certainly an element of pre-planning and premeditat- ion. Saying you are getting a shotgun is a very serious threat and could have led to a more serious charge.”

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