A DRUNKEN man threatened to burn a work colleague’s house down with his children inside after a festive fall-out.
Reece Male, an asbestos inspector, had been on a works Christmas night out when he got involved in the altercation.
Magistrates in South Tyneside were told that, while getting a taxi home on December 24, he made a stop at the man’s home, and knocked on the door demanding to speak to him.
The man’s girlfriend answered and Male launched a furious tirade of threats in her direction.
Male, 25, of Nevinson Avenue, South Shields, pleaded guilty to using threatening or abusive words with intent to cause fear of violence.
John McGlone, prosecuting, said: “The offence took place on December 24. There had been an altercation with a colleague at a works night out.
“He got in a taxi and attended the address at 1.20am. He knocked on the door, which was answered by the man’s girlfriend. She said the man was not at home.
“Male said to her ‘I want to see your fat boyfriend. I will smash your windows and set fire to your house with the children in it.
“Watch what happens tonight. I will set fire to your house with you all in it’.”
The 25-year-old then got back into the taxi and left the area.
A victim statement from the woman was read out in court.
In it she said: “It came out of the blue. I am extremely worried about my children and my house.
“I don’t know if he intended to carry it through or if it was said in anger. I considered the threat to be real.”
Ian Cruickshank, defending, said: “He is remorseful about what he said.
“What happened that night was thoroughly unacceptable. He says what he says in drink. It was impulsive. He didn’t mean it. That is why police have not charged with threats to kill.”
Mr Cruickshank added that the two men are still working together at Premier Asbestos, and there has been no issues between them since.
The court heard that Male is himself a dad of two and has very little recollection of the event.
Male was fined £213 and ordered him to pay court costs of £85, and a victim surcharge of £21.