Man jailed six months for threatening to kill ex-girlfriend
A St George’s man who threatened to kill his former girlfriend has been jailed for six months by a Supreme Court judge.
Detroy Smith, 27, admitted making the threat to Mikaela Pearman on October 24 last year during an internet exchange between the couple, who have a four-year-old son.
Smith was in the US to attend the birth of a second son by another woman when he contacted his ex on the whatsApp social network site.
During the course of the day, the pair exchanged several text messages, but Smith became angry when he learned that Ms Pearman, who ended the relationship last summer, was dating another man.
In one message he wrote: “I’m going f***ing kill u.”
And in another exchange he wrote: “Remember I was told u had him round *** so if I want I can put d word out 2 f**k him over.”
Prosecutor Susan Mulligan said that the couple had had an on-off relationship for several years and acknowledged that “in emotionally stressful situations” people can behave ”out of character”.
But she also said that Ms Pearman had been genuinely fearful of the threat and that Smith had committed “a serious, serious offence”.
She pointed out that, although the offence can carry a maximum seven-year custodial sentence, Smith’s actions were at the lower end of the sentencing scale and warranted a one-year jail term.
But she said the Crown was concerned that Ms Pearman should feel protected once Smith had served his jail sentence. She therefore asked he serve an additional two years’ probation during which time he should have no contact with his victim.
“Hopefully he has got the message that it is not up to him who the complainant sees or who she chooses to have around her son —
I hope that message has gotten through,” Ms Mulligan said.
Defence lawyer Victoria Pearman said that Smith, who has been in custody since January 16, was not obsessed with his former girlfriend, but simply wanted to know more about her new boyfriend for the sake of his child.
“Mr Smith basically says ‘I am mad, angry and frustrated because, in this day and age, I felt I had a right to know who was being around my son’,” the lawyer said.
“That has its limits and he went over the top, but I can see that it is a legitimate request. The emotional wounds were fresh and I’m asking the court to look at the humanness of this. There was a level of frustration but it wasn’t maintained and even before the sun has set on the conversation, my client has apologised.”
Ms Pearman also asked that no probation conditions be imposed “where it makes it difficult for him to be a father”.
“This is a father who has a relationship with his child and we cannot allow the fact that this indiscretion may separate him from his child,” she said.
Before being sentenced, Smith apologised to his two sons for not being able to be with them during his incarceration.
Acting Puisne Judge Charlene Scott, acknowledged that Smith had shown remorse, but suggested that he started acting like a man.
“It’s time to grow up and take control,” she said.
“When somebody says something that you don’t like, ignore it, don’t internalise it and say that you’re going to get back at them. It may seem minor, but your words got you into trouble so you have to watch your words.”
She sentenced Smith to six months in jail, to be followed by 18 months of probation. During that time he must avoid all contact with his victim and attend anger management classes.