A 23 year old man who sent fire emojis to a woman after learning she contacted gardaí to report intimidation over her son's drug debt, was given suspended sentences totalling two years at Dundalk Circuit Court last week and was ordered to complete 200 hours community service.
Nathan Llewellyn with an address at Keeverstown, Grangebellew, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to five counts of making unwarranted demands with menaces and making a threat to kill or cause serious harm to the woman and her son in County Louth in July 2019.
The court heard that the woman and her family were having difficulties at the time due to her son's drug addiction and payment was sought in relation to his drug debt.
The defendant had sent her a friend request and sent her a message, looking for her phone number “to chat” about her son.
Judge Martina Baxter said that screenshots of the messages exchanged were particularly nasty - with Mr. Llewellyn noting the ages of all of the children in the woman's family.
Judge Baxter commended her for her bravery in contacting the Gardaí and noted the woman's son was in fear of his own life and that of his family.
The day after the formal complaint was made, the defendant sent fire emojis to the woman. After his arrest the next day, he denied saying he was going to burn the family's home and said he was trying to be a tough guy.
The sentencing had previously been adjourned to allow the defendant the opportunity to raise a sum of money for the victims and to consider restorative justice; however, the court heard that was not a possibility.
Referring to a letter he had written to the victims, Judge Baxter said his remorse appears genuine and she was told he's ashamed of his actions.
The judge also noted he had raised €1,500 which the injured parties were willing to accept.
The 23 year old is now considered at low risk of reoffending having been previously assessed as being at moderate risk and is now drug-free.
Judge Baxter imposed concurrent sentences ranging from 12 months to two years for the fire emoji threat, but suspended them all on him entering a bond to be of good behaviour for three years.
The judge also warned Mr. Llewellyn he must be drug-free to complete the 200 hours community service order and if he tests positive she will consider it a breach of the order.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.