A MAN who intimidated two witnesses who had been due to give evidence to court has begun an 11-month sentence.
Stuart Anthony Holland, of Phillip Street in Hoole, Chester, was convicted after trial of intimidating two women, each on a separate occasion, in an attempt to prevent them testifying.
Simon Schwarz, prosecuting, told Chester and Ellesmere Port magistrates, that Holland had originally approached 20-year-old Natasha Mc-Cartney, who had given a statement against Holland's friend, who had allegedly been seen stealing a motorcycle.
The court was told that, on October 14 last year, Holland walked with three friends into a house on Maple Grove where Miss McCartney was with her friend, and started asking questions about what she thought she had seen when the bike was taken.
Mr Schwarz said the victim described the men as 'all big lads' and was intimidated by them, particularly when it was strongly suggested that there was no way she would be able to pick anyone out from a police lineup.
Miss McCartney told police that the incident left her afraid to go to work.
Sandra Kellard, who had been with Miss McCartney when the threats were made, gave a statement to the police, and on October 25 he was arrested on suspicion of harassing Miss McCartney.
When questioned by police he said he had only gone into the house to light a cigarette as it was a windy night, and that he knew Mrs Kellard, whose house it was, as she had 'put him up' at the house in the past.
The court was told that Holland, 28, went on to harass Mrs Kellard, on February 11 this year, when she went to use a telephone kiosk.
According to the prosecution, Holland is said to have approached her and said: 'Listen lads, this is the grass that's getting me done, and we know what happens to grasses.'
One of the group with Holland then told him to 'give it a rest, leave her alone'.
When arrested, Holland denied the incident had taken place and that he would not do anything to harm her.
Erwin Bamforth, defending, said there was little he could say in the way of mitigation since Holland had already been found guilty of both charges of intimidation.
Magistrates decided there was no alternative to custody and imposed five months custody for the first charge, and six months for the second, as they viewed it as the more serious. The sentences are to be served consecutively.