Man threatened to “cut somebody up” after family dispute

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A man who texted a relative saying he was going to “cut somebody up” claimed his patience had snapped after being subjected to a smear campaign against him which included an accusation he had an affair.

George McCloy (47) of Ann Street, Ballycastle, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Thursday for sentencing on charges of harassment and improper use of a communication network and was fined £500.

Defence barrister Francis Rafferty claimed his client had been subjected to a long running “campaign of vilification” from a relative because he had refused to lend her money in the distant past.

The court heard McCloy claimed there were allegations he had “done various things” and he was having an affair and phone calls were made to his workplace.

Mr Rafferty said the threat about cutting somebody up was so outlandish nobody treated it seriously.

He said the last time McCloy contacted police about the campaign against him, some family members did not speak to him for two years.

Deputy District Judge Paul Conway said it is sad when family disputes come to court.

He said McCloy had overstepped the mark and the threats were “deplorable and vile” and said the courts must ensure people don’t receive such texts.