A reader who made a bomb threat after an editor refused to take down a story has been warned he may face jail.
Nathan Miller has been told all sentencing options are open after he admitted an offence under the Malicious Communications Act, following a threat he had made to Wiltshire 999s founder Daniel Jae Webb.
The incident came after Miller’s brother Paul was convicted of assaulting his pregnant girlfriend, a case which Daniel had covered.
This resulted in Nathan Miller calling Daniel to ask for the story to be removed before he became “aggressive and threatening”, according to Wiltshire 999s’ report of the case.
Miller initially said he was going to end his own life if the story about his brother was not taken down, to which Daniel suggested he should contact the mental health crisis time and Samaritans for help and support.
In response to Daniel, the 31-year-old said: “Do you want me to come down there and blow up your shop? Because that’s what I’ll f**king do, I’ll blow the f**king place up, get that removed.”
He added: “Take the f**king post down or I’ll come down, blow up the shop, I’ll take my own f**king life.
“Get the f**king post down. I’m telling you now, you’re playing with f**king fire, I’m not going to be responsible for my f**king actions.”
Kate Prince, prosecuting, told Swindon magistrates on Wednesday that the phone call caused distress to Daniel, who immediately informed his partner at home and his family members about the incident – warning them to report any suspicious activity.
Emma Thacker, defending, said her client made full and frank admissions in a police interview and “apologised profusely” for his actions.
She said Miller, of Swindon, was suffering from a mental health episode on that day and “spiralled out of control” after hearing his parents arguing about the coverage of his brother’s court case.
Noting he “apologised profusely” for his actions, Ms Thacker told the court: “He shows great remorse and accepts that he should have dealt with it a different way… he can do nothing but apologise for what has happened.”
Chair of the bench Ninna Gibson adjourned the case for an all-options pre-sentence report after Miller, who has a previous conviction for criminal damage in 2015, pleaded guilty to the offence.
She said: “We note that it was a very serious offence. We’ve listened to the phone call, it was horrible and caused considerable distress and alarm.
“The court needs more information about you, so we are ordering a pre-sentence report.
“The result could indeed be a community order or a custodial sentence.”
Daniel has previously faced numerous threats from readers who have appeared in court as a result of their actions.
And this summer, convicted sex offender Robert Merrylees was also given a community order for repeatedly threatening to kill Daniel after he covered his case.
HTFP has approached Daniel for a comment.