Derry courthouse at Bishop Street.
A Derry man was today convicted of threatening a social worker and telling her that he would 'get' her sons.
Mark Meenan, from Duncreggan Road, admitted at Derry Magistrates Court to sending menacing messages by phone to the social worker on January 11 this year.
The court was told that police were contacted by the social worker the day after the messages were sent..
She told police that she was a social worker in connection with Meenan's family and that he had contacted her by telephone the previous day.
However, the social worker said 31-year-old Meenan admitted that he had 'drink taken' and she asked him to call back the following day.
The court was told that Meenan then told the social worker that he 'knew things about her family' and said he would get people to come to her house and that 'shots would be fired'.
The social worker hung up and the defendant tried to call her a further four times that day but she did not answer.
Meenan was arrested and told police that he had been drinking and had also taken prescription drugs and his memory of the incident was vague.
A defence solicitor told the court that none of what Meenan had said to the social worker was true.
The solicitor described the comments as 'empty threats in the the heat of the moment'.
The judge described the offence as 'very serious' given that it involved threats against a social worker who was just doing her job.
The judge added that the threats had left the social worker 'very much in fear'.
Meenan was ordered to do 60 hours of community service and was also placed on probation for 18 months.
He was warned that if he did not complete the community service or refused to work with the probation service, he would be brought back to court and sent to prison.
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