Love-sick youth’s threat to push fireworks through ex’s grandparents’ letterbox

Nottingham Crown Court.
Nottingham Crown Court.

A young man was so ‘unhealthily infatuated’ with his ex-partner that he threatened to push fireworks through her grandparents’ letter box and headbutted his best friend, a court has heard.

Joshua Taylor, 20, of Cotterdale Close, Forest Town, Mansfield, drove his car at the motorbike of his ex’s new boyfriend, smashing off the wing mirror, and threatened to burn his sister’s house down on April 2 last year.

Three days later he headbutted his best friend, who he saw kissing his ex, and inadvertently injured her when his friend’s head banged against her cheek.

And two days before he was due to appear in court for those offences, he phoned the young woman and made the fireworks threat.

Steven Taylor, for the crown, said: “All of his offences seem to stem from his unhealthy attachment to one young woman in particular.”

Although the woman maintained they had not been in a relationship, the court heard they had been friends since school and had lived together.

Digby Johnson, mitigating, said: “He pursued her for some time and tried to inveigle his way into her affections. They lived together. She told him she was pregnant with his child.

“He thought that she was central to everything that was good in his life. He became immensely blinkered. He was prepared to put her before everything else.”

The court heard that he had moved away for a short time to work in the south east and that ‘the rumour mill had started to grind.’

“Various people were saying things and this put the relationship under immense pressure,” said Mr Johnson.

The court heard Taylor had tried to provoke a fight with his ex’s new boyfriend in April, in the belief that he was protecting her.

On April 5, after headbutting his friend, he also damaged the window of a BMW.

On September 28 he phoned up the woman and said: “If I miss my sister’s birthday because of you I am going to put fireworks through your grandparents’ letterbox.”

The night before he was due in court on September 30, and concerned about a possible prison sentence, Taylor sent the woman a Facebook message: “Everything that happens to me in there will happen to you. Karma will get you.

“Make sure you get your grandma and everyone else to move house.”

Taylor was arrested and has spent the last four months in custody.

“He has had to realise why he is behind these bars. He has had to eat immense amounts of humble pie and build bridges with his family,” said Mr Johnson.

Taylor pleaded guilty to threatening criminal damage, threatening behaviour, two counts of criminal damage, indirect assault and harassment.

Recorder Gordon Kershaw said: “You became so infatuated that you lost sight of reality. But these are serious offences and there are a lot of them.

“You behaviour was that of an angry child. One slip of the pedal and people could have died.”

Taylor was sentenced to ten months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to undertake a thinking skills course, and a ten-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was ordered to pay £250 compensation and a victim surcharge of £100. A two-year restraining order forbidding him to contact the woman was also imposed.