Drunken dad jailed for threats to gun down his ex over care row

JAILED ... John Buckley was sent to prison for eight weeks and recalled to also serve 51 weeks of a previous sentence.
JAILED ... John Buckley was sent to prison for eight weeks and recalled to also serve 51 weeks of a previous sentence.

A DRUNKEN dad who warned police he would “arm himself” with a gun and kill his ex-partner has been jailed.

John Buckley told the officer the woman was “not fit to look after their child” and said he would be able to get access to a weapon.

The 34-year-old had called police to his address in Collingwood Street, Hebburn, on Tuesday, as he was concerned about his own well-being after saying he had been told by social services his child was found wandering the streets in North Tyneside wearing only underpants.

But when a police constable arrived he became increasingly agitated and made the death threat against the woman.

He was arrested and charged with making threats to kill and pleaded guilty to the offence at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that Buckley was jailed for four years for attempted robbery and possession of a firearm at Newcastle Crown Court in November 2011.

He was released on licence from the term – but the latest offence means he will be recalled to jail for the 51 weeks still to be served on the sentence.

Paul Doney, prosecuting, said: “A police officer was called to an address on Collingwood Street at 2.16pm on Tuesday over concerns about a male.

“He spoke to the defendant, who then told him he ‘didn’t want police in his life’. He appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. He was angry with his ex-partner for how his child was being looked after.

“He said he wanted to kill himself. The mental health response team were called by the officer.

“The defendant became enraged and said he would arm himself with a ‘strap (which he explained was a gun) and go over and knock her door in and kill her as she was not fit to look after his child.

“He said he would arrange for a gun to be brought to him. He said he had previously been jailed for armed robbery and could get a gun again.

“The officer believed the threat made was real and he was arrested.”

When interviewed by police, Buckley explained he was concerned over his child’s welfare.

Mr Doney added: “He said he never intended to go through with the threat. He was drunk and was being an idiot.”

Christopher Brown, defending, said: “This is a bizarre and strange set of circumstances. He was desperately upset and because of that he drank. He said on a drunken scale of one to 10, he was an eight.

“He called the police himself as he was concerned about his own well-being.

“He was emotionally charged. He later said to the police he wouldn’t harm a hair on his ex-partner’s head.

“Because of his emotional outburst he is being recalled to prison for 51 weeks.”

Barry Hunter, chairman of the magistrates, said: “We believe that the offence is so serious that only custody is an option.”

Buckley was jailed for eight weeks.

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris