Prisoner loses appeal for continuing to threaten ex

LIAM HYSLOP
Last updated 17:38 10/06/2014

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A man who used a prison phone to threaten to kill his ex-partner, was already serving a sentence for putting a shotgun to her head.

Robert Patrick Burton's appeal against his sentence for threatening to kill and breaching a protection order has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal in a decision released today.

He was sentenced on September 13, 2013 to a total of two years and three months' jail following the phone threats. He appealed his sentence on the basis it was manifestly excessive..

The Appeal Court said that at the time of the call, Burton was already in jail for threatening his pregnant ex-partner with a sawn-off shotgun in 2011.

He put the shotgun to her head and asked her "shall I shoot you now?".

He later told her he did not pull the trigger because she was pregnant with his child, the court decision said.

The woman obtained a final protection order against Burton in August 2011.

While serving his sentence he managed to manipulate the prison system so he was able to phone the woman.

During the first call, on March 9, 2013, he told her: "Disrespect my baby and I'll kill you, simple. That's not a figure of speech. I mean what I say.

"I'm coming for your family first of all and I'll eradicate your brother."

On 20 March, he called the woman again and asked if she was pregnant.

"I'm going to kill you when I get out," he said.

After she attempted to calm him down Burton told her he would burn her house down with her inside, the court decision said.

He also threatened to take her children, then ended the call.

The Court of Appeal ruled the sentence to be well within range to properly address his offending.

Burton had an "appalling list of previous convictions" and deliberately set about subjecting his ex-partner and her children, as well as her brother, to further threats, the court said.

The threats were made all the more real by the fact Burton would soon be released from prison and have the ability to carry out the threats, the court said.

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