A Chester man threatened to burn down the offices of the probation service if he was sent to prison, a court heard.
Leigh Jason May, 25, made the threat in a phone call with a probation officer, Flintshire Magistrates’ Court at Mold was told.
He denied a charge of threatening to cause damage by fire and was due to go on trial – but pleaded guilty to an alternative public order offence charge. Sentence was adjourned.
May was bailed to live at his home at Cemlyn Close in Blacon where he is subject to an overnight tagged curfew.
Prosecutor Sheyanne Lee said that at about 4pm on January 31, May rang the probation service office at Flint.
The call ended and probation officer Emily Hooley was asked to ring another number, said to be a friend of his.
When she did so the phone was handed over to May and the officer explained to him that he was in breach of his order.
But he became aggressive and, referring to a forthcoming court case, said: “If I get ten weeks I am going to burn the f…… Flint probation offices down when I released.”
She was unable to get a word in due to his repeated swearing and ended the call.
The probation service made a formal complaint and May was arrested on suspicion of making a threat.
He claimed that it was not him on the other end of the phone.
A trial was due to be held but he admitted the alternative charge when it was offered to him, said defending solicitor Fiona Larkin.
He had previous convictions for 37 offences.
Miss Larkin told how May had mental health difficulties and suffered from severe ADHD and bipolar.
He was known to the probation service for a long period of time.
May had the same probation officer for some time but he was no longer available and he had a new probation officer.
Issues arose about a sick note which was why he was in contact with the probation service.
The offence was not planned. He had not sat at home and planned to have a right go at the probation service.
May had a bit of a rant in frustration which he appreciated was not the right thing to do.
The defendant was someone who, because of his condition, could become exaggerated and upset quite quickly, he was speaking to someone who was not his usual offender manager, and ‘the stupid comment’ was made.
“I know that he is sorry for speaking to the probation officer in that way. It was his mental health issues which led him to do that,” said Miss Larkin.
It was done on the spur of the moment.
She said that the court should know that he had attended a probation service appointment and his contact with the service was on-going.
Magistrates adjourned the case for sentence for later this week.