Bryson '˜astounded' at sentence over threats

Loyalist Jamie Bryson says he is astounded at the sentence handed down today to a man convicted of making threats against him.

Wednesday, 2nd March 2016, 4:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd March 2016, 4:09 pm
Jamie Bryson received the threatening message in September 2014

A west Belfast man who threatened to shoot him has been handed a conditional discharge.

After a short trial at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court last month, a bench warrant was issued for the arrest of 22-year-old Miceal Che Donnelly when he was convicted in his absence of improperly using a public communications network to send a matter that was “grossly offensive or indecent”.

Mr Bryson told the News Letter after the hearing: “I am astounded at the minor sentence handed down today. Here we have a man who not only issued a serious threat, but further went on to thumb his nose at the court by refusing to turn up to trial and then further compounded this by refusing to turn up for sentencing.

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“I will be asking the PPS to consider appealing this sentence because it sets a dangerous precedent. There was no early guilty plea and no respect shown for the court. The defendant sought to contest the charges, which makes the ridiculously light sentencing even more astonishing.

“I can’t help but wonder if the court has taken the approach that some people are fair game to be threatened and trolled online. This sentencing stands in stark contrast to the suspended sentences handed down for people convicted of breaching parades commission determinations- an offence that is on the same sentencing scale as what the defendant has been charged with.”