Death threat jail term cut

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A VIOLENT thug who threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend in a string of ‘extreme’ text messages has had his jail term reduced on appeal.

Ian John Eastwood launched his campaign of terror on Jade Holmes after being convicted of assaulting her and ordered not to have any further contact with her.

Eastwood, aged 29, of Pindar Oaks Cottages, Doncaster Road, Kendray, Barnsley, was jailed for two years and 10 months at Sheffield Crown Court in November last year after he admitted putting a person in fear of violence by harassment and breach of a restraining order.

But his sentence was cut to one year and 10 months by judges at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, who said the original term was ‘excessive’.

The court heard Eastwood was handed a suspended sentence at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court in May last year after being convicted of battery and harassment – relating to offensive and menacing texts he sent to Miss Holmes.

He was also given a restraining order, banning him from having any contact with his former girlfriend.

But, within a very short time, he went to her home, accused her of being a ‘grass’ and threatened her, saying: “You are dead, you are not to walk the streets.”

Mr Justice Bean told the court the threat was followed by a campaign of ‘intimidating and threatening’ text messages, which were of an ‘extreme nature’.

He added: “The sentencing judge was right to find Miss Holmes was subjected to significant psychological harm – in short, she was living in fear of her former boyfriend.”

The court heard Eastwood has previous convictions for offences including affray, assault, battery, and child abduction, as well as drugs offences.

A probation officer wrote a ‘disturbing’ report on him, saying he blamed Miss Holmes and considered his actions were ‘justified’.

Eastwood’s barrister Simon Pallo argued his sentence was too long, saying the crown court judge didn’t take enough account of his admissions of guilt.

Mr Justice Bean said even taking into account the ‘aggravating features’ of the case and Eastwood’s previous convictions, the jail term was excessive.