Worker made chilling threats to company bosses after losing job

Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A worker made chilling threats to company bosses after he lost his job after lying about having a driving licence.

Stephen Alderson, 47, left executives at JB Site Investigations fearing for their safety after he sent them shocking emails and text messages, South Tyneside Magistrates’ heard.

I am shocked and concerned, not only for myself, but also for my staff

John Lawrence

After being told they would be assaulted with a hammer, the company’s managing director John Lawrence and project manager Jordan Schofield searched Alderson’s name online to find he had a history of violence, the court was told.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “There are two people named in the malicious communications charges, Mr Lawrence, who is the managing director of JB Sites Investigations in Berwick, and Nr Schofield, a project manager.

“In September, the defendant was offered a job as a cable percussion and rotary driller.

“One of the requirements of the role is that a driving licence is essential.

“There was a bit of toing and froing about them wanting to see his driving licence.

“He presented a number of excuses as to why he couldn’t provide it.

“After a couple of months, no licence had materialised.

“He was then told if you don’t give us your licence your employment will be terminated.

“He is told in the email that his job is effectively terminated and he doesn’t take too kindly to it.”

The court heard Mr Lawrence received an email from Alderson on November 22, in which he demanded money he claimed he was owed.

The email also stated that he would smash his office up and crack his head open.

Mr Lawrence said in a victim statement: “I have worked in the building industry for some 26 years and I have never received an email like this.

“I have Googled him and I see that he has been violent in the past.

“I am shocked and concerned, not only for myself, but also for my staff.”

The following day, Mr Schofield received a number of text messages containing obscene language, one of which said he would smash him with a hammer.

Mr Schofield said in a victim statement: “The text messages caused me alarm and distress.

“I know the lad, I see he has a history of violence. I do believe he would follow up with his threats.”

Alderson, of Madras Street, South Shields, pleaded guilty to two counts of sending a malicious communication.

He also admitted driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and without insurance after he was caught driving a company van on the A1 near Birtley, on November 21.

He has 44 previous offences, including 15 assaults on his record.

Sophie Cohen, defending, said: “He accepts he suggested and implied that he had a licence to drive, although he was never employed to be a driver.”

Ms Cohen said Alderson had told the company he was leaving because they failed to pay him on time, owing him £1,400 in unpaid wages.

She said: “It’s incredibly frustrating when you have to chase people for not getting paid.”

Ms Cohen added that Alderson had then been left ‘stranded’ in Scotland, and decided to drive the van to Birtley, despite only having a provisional licence.

Alderson was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was fined £500m and told to pay a surcharge of £85 and costs of £85.

He was given eight point on his licence and disqualified from driving for six months, under totting up provisions.