A young man described in court as a social hermit threatened to kill a teenage girl he met over the internet.
Joseph Holgate also threatened to kill the girl’s family when he became angry when she said she wanted to finish their relationship.
They had talked together via Skype and private messaging and at one stage Holgate, of Faringdon Avenue,South Shore, pretended on screen to be drinking bleach.
Holgate admitted harassment – putting the 16-year-old girl in fear of violence by making death threats to her – when he appeared before Blackpool magistrates.
Holgate was said by his lawyer Hugh Pond to be a “social hermit.”
He said: “He never goes out, he had no friends. Morning, noon and night he is in his bedroom on his computer.
“He never met this girl, only over the internet and he made the threats when he was very upset. He would never have carried them out. He will not be having anything to do with this girl again.”
Pam Smith,prosecuting, said that when the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, became worried abut the threats she had to be picked up from school by her mother because she was so scared.
The prosecutor said they were part of a group of six who would Skype each other.
Then they started to exchange private messages.
They regarded each other as boyfriend and girlfriend even though they had never met.
He did ask her to see him but she refused, saying she needed to concentrate on her exams.
The prosecutor said: “At one stage she deleted him as a friend but when they re- started he became upset and said he told her – I am coming to kill you... I will kill you and your family.”
He repeated his threats to other friends on the Internet telling them what he was going to do. He stepped up the tone of his messages saying he knew where she lived and would murder her.
Holgate was given a 12 week suspended jail term, suspended for a year, and ordered to do 40 hours’ unpaid work and given a year’s supervision.