An Aberdeenshire man left his niece and her partner terrified after he sent them a barrage of threatening and homophobic text messages and voicemails.
Brian Pratt appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday and admitted sending the “grossly offensive” and “menacing” messages on December 22.
Fiscal depute Karen Dow said the 38-year-old had began sending the messages to his niece Jade Pratt’s girlfriend, Rebecca Russo, that afternoon.
She said the exchange became heated and Pratt began sending them both messages calling them “dykes” and “lesbos”.
Pratt also sent them both a message with their home address and another where he said he couldn’t wait to “ruin” their Christmas.
He then began phoning the pair and left a number of voicemails including one where he said “you’re dead”, the court heard.
Eventually, his niece called the police and, while officers were at her home in the Cornfield Road area of Turriff, Pratt left another abusive voicemail.
Defence agent Gregor Kelly said the incident had been sparked by a falling out between the relatives.
Mr Kelly said the two had been close and Miss Pratt had lived at her uncle’s home for a time.
However, he said that at one stage valuables belonging to Mr Pratt’s grandmother went missing and he suspected his niece was responsible.
Mr Kelly said Pratt was “deeply apologetic” and hoped to mend the relationship after his sentence.
Miss Pratt, the court heard, had since been in touch with her uncle to apologise for what had transpired since the incident.
Mr Kelly said his client had frequently used ecstasy in the past and now “the chickens had come to roost”.
He said Pratt suffered from paranoia and “embryonic psychosis” because of his years of abuse.
He said Pratt, of Kembhill Park, Kemnay, had lost his job in the oil and gas industry in 2014 and was currently unemployed.
Mr Kelly said this meant he would not be in a position to pay a fine.
Sheriff Christine McCrossan sentenced him to 60 hours of unpaid work.