Hartlepool thug who made chilling threats to young woman and her grandparents is caged

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A THUG who issued chilling threats to a young woman and her grandparents has been locked up for more than two years.

Philip Keenan, 34, said he would get men in balaclavas to come and take the 20-year-old woman and her family away in vans.

He also brandished a knife in front of her and warned: “I will slash people’s legs and necks with this”.

Keenan also threatened to get his girlfriend to “smash” the victim’s face in.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the incident started on April 14 when Keenan went to the victim’s grandparents’ home in Wordsworth Avenue to demand money from her uncle who was not there.

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said: “When the victim’s nana told the defendant to go away he said ‘the next people who will come will be in balaclavas and will take you all away in vans’.”

Keenan left the address when the police were mentioned but returned about an hour later.

The woman confronted Keenan in her uncle’s bedroom when Keenan brandished a rusty knife.

Mr Dodds added: “He said ‘do you know what I can do with this? I will slash people’s legs and necks.’”

Kennan was arrested nearby the same day and charged for his behaviour.

He appeared before magistrates the next day but within an hour of being released on bail, with strict conditions not to approach the victim, Keenan made a beeline for her and made further threats.

Mr Dodds added: “She was clearly terrified and started crying.

“She ran into a house but he followed her and shouted through the letter box ‘you can run but you can’t hide. I will be back for you and the rest of your family at your nana’s.’”

Keenan later admitted affray for his behaviour on April 14 and witness intimidation the following day.

Jim Withyman, mitigating, said Keenan had had difficulties with drugs and said while he was aggressive no violence was used.

He said Keenan wanted to stay out of trouble to be there for his young family adding: “It’s clear he has got a lot to use if he doesn’t mend his ways.”

Keenan, of Moffatt Road, Hartlepool, was jailed for 27 months. He was also hit with a five-year restraining order to stay away from the victim and her family.

Judge George Moorhouse said: “Drugs seem to have been your downfall over the years.

“You have a young family. When you are in prison you want to think about them and change your life when you come out.”