Man threatened ex-partner with acid, knife and petrol attacks

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A man who threatened to “ruin” his ex-partner’s face with acid has been handed a three-year probation order.

Sean Brady, 41, sent the woman a series of menacing texts, including one showing a set of knives with the words: “take your pick.”

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard another message featured a picture of a petrol container and a threat to burn her house down while she was in it.

A judge described it as the most extreme behaviour of its kind she had encountered.

Brady, of Mizen Gardens in Belfast, admitted charges of harassment, sending menacing messages by a public electronic communications network, threats to kill, threats to damage property and common assault.

He had been in a relationship with the victim before she ended it last year over concerns about his drinking.

Prosecutors said he then manipulated her into getting back together a number of times by threatening to kill himself.

In July 2017 Brady sent her a voicemail containing a threat to come to her house, and that she would be “f*****”.

“On the same date he also sent her a photograph of a number of knives with a message saying ‘take your pick’,” a prosecution lawyer said.

Brady also sent a picture of him holding a knife.

Days later she received a text in which he warned: “I’m going to hurt you so f****** bad you will be begging me to stop.”

At that stage he sent pictures that looked like containers of acid, and stated that if he couldn’t have her, no-one could.

Brady then messaged the woman again with another threat: “I will ruin what’s left of your face with acid.”

He stated that she would be reminded of him every day she looked in the mirror.

Later that day he arrived at his ex-partner’s home in Belfast seeking to reconcile, but a row broke out when he demanded to look through her phone.

The court also heard about a separate incident the same month where Brady sent the woman a picture of a petrol container.

“It had a message threatening to burn her house down with her in it,” the prosecutor added.

“The injured party lives with a seven-year-old child.”

Defence counsel told the court Brady has expressed remorse and accepted full responsibility for actions she described as “horrendous”.

The barrister claimed it was a “bizarre” case, with one message sent about the knives received a response “giving permission”.

“It’s a very warped relationship, very toxic, between the two,” she added.

But District Judge Fiona Bagnall insisted: “This is absolutely distressing behaviour.”

She continued: “This is as extreme conduct as I have seen in these type of cases.”

Although she confirmed the case warranted immediate imprisonment, she decided instead to impose probation based on the content of reports.

Mrs Bagnall emphasised that the sentence was aimed at dealing with any future relationships.

She said: “It’s not for any mercy on the defendant.”