Doncaster man threatened to ‘cut open woman and kill her unborn child’

Sheffield Crown Court.
Sheffield Crown Court.

A Doncaster man who made “extremely abusive” threats to kill a pregnant woman’s unborn child has avoided a jail term.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how Shane Ward, aged 32, of Dukes Crescent, Edlington, rang the daughter of his partner and made threats to kill just after midnight on September 3 last year.

David Wain, prosecuting, described the nature of the call as “extremely abusive” and added Ward threatened to “cut her open and kill her unborn child.”

He added: “The victim was unnerved and scared, saying she believed the threats may be carried out.”

Mr Wain said Ward later admitted making the phone call but claimed that he “would never” carry out the threat.

When the threatening phone call was made, a friend of the victim recorded it on her phone and a complaint was made to police.

Cheryl Dudley, defending, said there was a “difficult domestic situation” between Ward’s partner and her daughter, which he had become embroiled in.

The court heard Ward’s partner had allegedly been intimidated prior to him making the calls.

Ms Dudley added that her client had a difficult background in which “violence and threats of intimidation had been normalised.”

She described him as an “emotionally unstable” man with “personality issues” but added that he was seeking support from his doctor.

The court heard that Ward had seven previous convictions for offences including harassment and making threats dating back over the last several years.

Ms Dudley said his offending started following the death of his grandmother, but he had not been in trouble for a period of a couple of years since moving to Doncaster from Bristol.

She added: “This is a man who is rather late in life maturing.”

Ward admitted making threats to kill.

Judge Recorder Nigel Sangster QC told Ward: “These were nasty threats. You wanted to frighten her and you did. You have a bad record.”

But he accepted Ward was now seeking help in dealing with his issues.

He said: “You have seen your GP and you realise you have a problem.”

Ward was spared jail and instead handed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was also made the subject of a three-month curfew order and given a restraining order not to contact the victim for a period of five years.