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Thursday, 28 August 2014

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Walney dad made threats online after punching his friend

A NEW father admitted using a social networking site to threaten another man.

Joshua Ben Christian Rhoods pleaded guilty to a common assault and sending a communication conveying a threatening message at Furness Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

The court heard the 19-year-old, of Windrush Crescent, Walney, assaulted his friend Daniel Vigus in Abbey Road, Barrow, after a disagreement on February 24.

Prosecuting, Mrs Lisa Hine said the defendant approached Mr Vigus and Ryan Sharples, and attempted to confront Mr Sharples about harassing his girlfriend.

Mr Vigus stood in the way, preventing the confrontation, and was struck by Rhoods.

Mrs Hine said: “The defendant tried to push past him. Mr Vigus put his arms out to stop him and this was when he was punched without warning.”

The victim received bruising to his face. The court heard Mr Sharples received a threatening Facebook message from Rhoods after the incident.

In an interview with police, the defendant admitted he had sent the message but said he was trying to stay out of trouble as he was soon to be a father.

Mrs Hine said he told police: “I am not someone who would have gone through with it (the threats). It was just words really.”

Defending, Ms Cath McAteer said her client had become a father the night before Thursday’s hearing, and said he acted in an overprotective manner after believing Mr Sharples had been harassing his girlfriend.

She said: “It is a difficult set of circumstances which is very much particular to the background story.

“If you do deal with it today then obviously he would be overjoyed as he would get to see his child and can move on.”

Chairman of the bench, Mr Tony Brierley, said Rhoods’ behaviour was something he “should be absolutely ashamed of”.

He was issued with a 12-month community order and will have to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation and £85 court costs.

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