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Man who threatened to behead Premier sentenced

A man who threatened to behead David Burt, the Premier, was sentenced to a year behind bars yesterday and probation.

The Supreme Court heard that Jared Gordon, 30, had already spent about 18 months in prison since his arrest for threats to the premier.

But Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons said he was not to be released from custody until at least February 7, because he had nowhere to go.

Gordon said he planned to move in with his parents, but the court heard he had been charged in Magistrates' Court with threatening his father.

Mrs Justice Simmons said she hoped the additional time would allow Gordon to arrange somewhere to stay so he could begin his two-year probation period. The probation conditions included an order that Gordon get psychiatric help.

Gordon wrote a series of e-mails in 2017 and 2018 where he threatened to “put a hole” in the Premier's head and that he would to behead him with a hacksaw. Gordon lived in England at the time of the offences.

Gordon pleaded guilty to two counts of sending threatening messages last April. The case was adjourned so a neuropsychological report could be carried out.

Karen Deane, for the prosecution, said the test results showed no sign of abnormality and asked for a sentence of between two and four years.

She argued part of the Crown's responsibility was to separate “genuine madness and badness”. She said: “The Crown's position is that the defendant knew what he was doing at the time of the offence.

“He may not have appreciated how his actions would be received, but he cannot go around telling people that he would chop people's heads off with a hacksaw.”

But Simone Smith-Bean, for Gordon, said, even if Gordon were sentenced to two years in prison, he would already have served 18 months — more than two-thirds of that sentence — and would be eligible for immediate release.

Gordon was arrested in May 2018 and was remanded in custody until he raised bail on August 23 last year.

He was remanded again on November 21 and his bail was cancelled because of the charge involving his father.

Mrs Smith-Bean said that the court-ordered report suggested her client may have autism spectrum disorder but further assessment would be needed.

Mrs Justice Simmons said that the court did not ignore mental health problems, but that it was restricted by limited options.

She added: “That is the reason why this court would give a sentence of imprisonment that is shorter than it might otherwise be and probation, because within the structure of probation they can get the help that is available on the island.

“They cannot possibly get help that isn't available. I cannot wave a wand and make that type of help appear.

“But I also cannot let the defendant just walk away because we are deficient in providing treatment services for the defendant.”

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Published January 30, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated January 30, 2020 at 8:01 am)

Man who threatened to behead Premier sentenced

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