Violent thug deserves to be treated 'severely', judges rule

Justice

Justice

A violent thug who threatened to kill a terrified witness at Peterlee Magistrates Court deserved to be treated 'severely', top judges have ruled.

Paul Michael Bishop, 32, of no fixed abode, was caged for three years and seven months at Durham Crown Court on May 26 after he admitted witness intimidation.

Bishop was due to stand trial on an assault charge, Mr Justice Green told London's Appeal Court today.

His alleged victim arrived at Peterlee Magistrates' Court on December 7 last year and was taken to a witness room.

While he was there, Bishop walked past the window before returning and leering through it.

He pointed to the witness, saying 'you will be laughing no more, I will kill you. You will be history'.

The witness was terror struck and Bishop's trial could not go ahead, said the judge.

The judge who jailed him described his intimidation of the witness as a 'deliberate and serious' crime.

Bishop's previous convictions included threatening and abusive behaviour, inflicting grievous bodily harm and possession of a knife and knuckle duster.

He had a 'history of aggression', said Mr Justice Green.

His barrister, Nicole Horton, neverthless argued his jail term was far too tough and ought to be cut.

But the judge said it was a 'particularly serious act of intimidation which successfully interfered with the administration of justice'.

Such crimes would 'inevitably be dealt with severely', added the judge, who was sitting with Lord Justice Gross and Judge Anne Molyneux.