Threatened to cut police woman’s throat

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A man who threatened to cut a female police officer’s throat has been jailed for four months.

Ashley Charles Gillen, of Cornshell Fields, pleaded guilty to making the threat on February 24.

Derry Magistrates Court was told the 27-year-old phoned the local PSNI station in the early hours of the morning.

He was “drunk and agitated” and named the police officer in the threat.

Gillen claimed he was going to cut her throat and said he was in possession of a knife at the time of making the call.

The court heard the call was traced to a phone owned by Gillen and he was arrested at his home.

During police interview the 27-year-old admitted making the threat and has been in custody ever since.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said his client told the switchboard operator who he was when he made the call and it was a “very foolish, drunken escapade”.

He added that Gillen had “no intention whatsoever” of carrying out the threat and the police officer who was the subject of it is satisfied it was an “empty threat”.

Mr MacDermott accepted it was “a very, very nasty thing” for the police officer and she “shouldn’t have to put up with this in the course of her employment”.

Jailing Gillen, District Judge Barney McElholm said it is “not nice to get such a threat. We have all got enough to cope with without getting threats”.

He raised concerns that the 27-year-old, who has a previous conviction for making a threat to kill, “obviously hasn’t learned his lesson”.