A WOMAN sent a death threat to a housing firm’s solicitor during a long-running row.
Nichola Ratcliffe told lawyer Alison Dixon: ‘I will take great delight in killing you’, in a foul-mouthed e-mail in which she branded Gentoo employees “bully boys”.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 48-year-old, who was one of the first women in the region to undergo revolutionary surgery after being born with no chin, had been involved in a dispute with the firm over the behaviour of her neighbours and upkeep of the exterior of her Sunderland home.
The e-mail was sent on November 30 last year after a series of meetings and angry exchanges which left her feeling she was being treated unfairly and discriminated against due to her disability.
Ratcliffe, who suffered 20 years of operations to give her a jawline before having a metal device fitted to her face which was stretched one millimetre a day until she had a chin, was convicted of two charges under the Communications Acts by magistrates in July.
The charges relate to the e- mail which said: “Go to f****ing hell and I will see you in court over this. I will take great delight in killing you.
“All for allowing a disabled person living in hell from your Gentoo neighbours.
“You are a crappy solicitor, like everyone in Gentoo. You are all bully boys.”
The second charge related to an e-mail sent to another employee, on the same day, which said “go to f****ing hell”.
At Newcastle Crown Court, Judge John Milford QC, sitting with two magistrates, allowed Ratcliffe’s appeal against the conviction over the e-mail which contained no direct threat and quashed the guilty verdict against her.
But he rejected her appeal against the conviction in relation to the lawyer.
As a result, she remains the subject of a conditional discharge for 12 months, but her original £100 fine was reduced to £50.
The judge warned Ratcliffe against sending angry e-mails in future.
He said: “Like the archers’ arrow, when it has been fired, it cannot be recovered.
“Next time you get anything from Gentoo, just pause to think.”
Ms Ratcliffe told the court she has a catalogue of health problems and money worries which mean she faces a daily struggle.