South Shields woman branded '˜despicable' for sending chilling threats to domestic violence victim

A woman has been branded as '˜despicable' by a judge for making chilling threats towards a victim of domestic violence.

Tuesday, 26th December 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th December 2017, 8:55 am
Mandy Lee Smith delivered her threats by Whatsapp

District Judge Roger Elsey told Mandy Lee Smith that what she said to the woman was “despicable and concerning and needs to stop”

In a series of Whatsapp messages Smith, 24, of Defoe Avenue, South Shields, called the victim a ‘grass’ and said she was would be killed, South Northumbria Magistrates’ Court heard.

Mandy Lee Smith appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Lee Poppett, prosecuting, said: “The crux of the issue is that the complainant’s former partner is also a former partner of Miss Smith.

She explained that both woman have a child by the man

She added: “The partner was subsequently convicted of an assault against the complainant and he was sent to prison.

“Because of the children sharing the same father, there is some contact, although strained, between Miss Smith and the complainant.

Mandy Lee Smith appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

“The complainant started receiving a series of text messages on November 28 and November 29 on Whatsapp.”

The court heard how Smith called the complainant a ‘rat’ and a ‘grass’.

One message read: “You are getting topped. Show this to the police because it’s not a threat. It’s a promise.”

Mr Poppett said: “This caused her particular fear and she has contacted the police.”

The woman said in a victim personal statement: “I feel frightened because of what’s happened. She has been to my door and I want this to stop.”

Smith pleaded guilty to sending an indecent message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing nature.

David Forrester, defending, said: “There is a significant number of text messages going back and forward from both parties.”

District Judge Roger Elsey said he strongly disagreed that the victim was in any way to blame and that Smith was lucky she had not been charged with witness intimidation.

He said: “This is condemnation of a victim for reporting domestic violence to the police. That’s despicable and concerning and needs to stop. It’s threats. It’s intended to be intimidating and a consequence of reporting domestic violence to the police .

“This has happened because a victim of domestic violence reported that to the police and there was an appropriate punishment.

“If this had been charged as witness intimidation you would have gone to prison.”

Smith was sentenced to a 12-month community order and 20 days of rehabilitation activity.

She was also told to pay a £85 surcharge and £85 costs.