‘I’ll poke your eyes out’ – man faces jail over Facebook torture threats to ex

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A MAN who made violent threats to his ex-partner during a series of drink-fuelled Facebook rants has been warned he could be jailed.

Joseph Hyde told the woman that he would get someone to “torture” her and “poke her eyes out” after firing off six messages to her on the social networking site in less than four hours.

The 39-year-old admitted a charge of harassment when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that Hyde, of North Main Court, South Shields, had been in a relationship with the woman for about five years – but the pair had split up a decade ago. Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said: “The injured party had got an injunction against him, which had expired.

“On January 5, she received a Facebook message at 4.41pm from a woman she knew was in a relatonship with Hyde.

“She believed the message had been sent by him due to it containing wording he would use and referencing incidents only he and she would know about. She received further messages at 5.40pm and 7pm and three at 8.38pm.

“They were all abusive or of a threatening manner.”

She added: “She said she was now wary of going out as he knew where she lived, and she felt frightened and harassed.”

Laura Johnson, defending, said the incident had been sparked by a “chance” encounter by the pair, where a disagreement was raised over their daughter.

Mrs Johnson said: “He’d had a significant amount of alcohol and sent a number of Facebook messages. He was concerned for the welfare of his daughter.

“He can’t recall all of the messages he sent but accepts they were abusive. He had no intention to carry out the threats in the messages.”

The case was adjourned for a probation report ahead of sentencing.

Linda Murphy, chairman of the magistrates, said: “We would like probation to be involved becaause of the threatening manner of the messages.

“All options will be open, including custody.”

Hyde will be back at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on February 19.

He was given bail until then, with the conditions he resides at his home address and does not contact the injured party.