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Wiltshire Police Federation

Man jailed for social-media threats to police could represent a “step change”

9 January 2020

The Chairman of Wiltshire Police Federation said he was happy that a judge delivered a custodial sentence to a man who sent social-media death threats to the police.

Nicholas Bray, 22, of Lime Kiln, who has been jailed for 10 months, sent a Facebook message to Wiltshire Police Swindon North, saying he would stab the next police officer he saw and set their car alight with them in it. He added that he would kill any police officer who tried to arrest him.

Police Professional reported that his message read: “Yooo wasssuuppp just wanted [to] say that [I] am going to stab the next fed I see and then set their car on f***ing fire with em in it! It ain’t no threat believe me if you try and get me then I’ll have 2 kill all of you.” He then posted a laughing face emoji.

Bray pleaded guilty to one count of malicious communications at Swindon Magistrates Court on 8 January. He has previous convictions for sending similar messages, including one where he claimed to have planted a bomb in a police station. In 2018 he admitted three charges of sending false messages with the aim of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety. In 2016 he was given a two-year conditional discharge for sending abusive messages to the force.

Wiltshire Police Federation Chairman Mark Andrews said: “I am happy the judge in this matter has recognised the impact of this type of vile threat and delivered a custodial sentence. Our officers are subjected to violent attacks almost daily and need the protection of our partners in the judiciary to ensure that those who feel we are fair game recognise their actions have real and significant consequences.

“Hopefully this sentence represents a step change and we can finally see a reverse in this horrific trend of increasing numbers of assaults.”

Speaking to Police Professional, PC Liam Currant, from Royal Wootton Bassett Community Policing Team, said: “Bray is a repeat offender who has made violent threats to our police officers a number of times over the years. In today’s current climate, these types of threats, no matter whether or not the offender has genuine intentions to carry them out, have to be taken seriously."