Suspended sentence for man who threatened to kill his father and racially abused his step-mother

Leeds Magistrate's Court.
Leeds Magistrate's Court.

A man threatened to kill his father and sent racist abuse to his step mother following a row about some sheds.

Jon Hudson Banks had earlier pleaded not guilty to one count of sending a letter/communication/article conveying a threatening message and another count of sending an indecent or offensive message but was found guilty of both offences following a trial at Leeds Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Yesterday (Friday) he re-appeared at the court before District Judge Christine Holland for sentence.

The court heard that Banks, aged 32, and his father had had a difficult relationship over the years but were in business together. Banks has a business selling sheds in Birstall while his father manufactures them.

However, on learning that some of the sheds had been removed, Banks, in November of last year, sent the messages after he had been drinking, the court heard.

Mrs Cavannagh, prosecuting said: "He conveyed a threat that he could get a gun and get someone to shoot his father. The communication with a threatening message was a racist comment. She is a woman from South Africa and on her victim impact statement said she was brought up in apartheid South Africa and never experienced the level (of racism) she was subjected to on that day.

"The threats were serious whether they were intended to be carried out or not. It was about as serious as one can imagine and it does cross the custody threshold."

Martin White from the Probabtion Service said Banks, who has a £60 a week cannabis habit, continues to maintain his innocence but told him he had been drinking when the messages were sent and also the night before.

Banks and his father have now separated business practices, he added.

Banks, who now lives with his sister at Highfield Crecent, Selby, was given a restraining order for two years where he is banned from making contact with his father and step-mother, a four month prison sentence suspended for 12 months, ordered to pay £753 in costs and fines and was told to do 100 hours of unpaid work.

District Judge Holland said: "You know how seriously I take these offences. There is clearly work on your attitude that needs to be done."