MENACING Patrick Bradley has been jailed for almost four years for demanding £1,000 from one man and making terrifying threats including that he would firebomb a mum’s house.
Bradley, 23, also threatened to drive a Jeep through the front window of a woman’s house as he tried to frighten her boyfriend into handing over cash.
Teesside Crown Court heard how the victim went to see Bradley in August last year after the victim’s girlfriend said she owed Bradley £1,000 and she had been given until midnight to pay.
Her boyfriend, who cannot be legally named, scraped together £300 by going to the bank and borrowing £100 from a relative.
But when he gave it to Bradley he told the man the debt was on his head.
And he warned the man if the rest of the money was not paid Bradley would drive a Jeep straight through his girlfriend’s mother’s living room window.
I genuinely thought this lad was either going to hurt [my girlfriend], hurt me or even drive a Jeep through her mam’s window
Giving evidence in court the man said: “It was as plain as day if it wasn’t paid that’s what would happen.
“I took it as a warning. I genuinely thought this lad was either going to hurt [my girlfriend], hurt me or even drive a Jeep through her mam’s window.
“I wanted to help her so much because I loved her. I had never been in that situation before and I was frightened.”
The man raised another £150 and handed it over but when Bradley asked when the rest of the money would be paid he went to the police.
“I knew I couldn’t get any more,” the victim said.
Bradley, of Wynyard Mews, Hartlepool, was found guilty of a charge of blackmail by demanding money with menaces after a trial.
He was also accused of demanding £2,000 from a woman, who also cannot be named.
She told the trial her partner said he owed Bradley the money for drugs.
But Bradley, and co-defendant Liam Coatman, 28, who was alleged to have been used by Bradley to intimidate and collect money from the woman, were both cleared of blackmail.
Mr Coatman said he had never met Bradley until he went round to Bradley’s flat to confront him about threatening phone calls he said Bradley had made to him.
Mr Coatman, of Cotsford Park, High Hesleden, told police and the jury, he would never threaten or intimidate a woman.
But Bradley was also found guilty of threatening to damage the woman’s home.
She told the trial: “He said he would bomb my house with my four kids in.”
Just weeks ago Bradley was given an eight-month prison sentence after he admitted to allowing his flat to be used for drug dealing by his brother Sean.
He also has previous convictions for dangerous driving, obstructing police and dishonest crimes.
Recorder Jamie Hill QC said blackmail was an ugly and vicious crime and that members of the public held blackmailers in contempt.
He added the threat to the woman was frightening for her and her family.
Recorder Hill jailed Bradley for a total of 45 months for the blackmail and threatening to damage property.