Sunderland phone pest who made threats to kill woman is allowed to walk free - because no one will pay for mental health assessment

Sakkir Choudhury has been assessed as posing a risk to the public ' here he is seen unsupervised.
Sakkir Choudhury has been assessed as posing a risk to the public ' here he is seen unsupervised.
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A SERIAL phone pest who threatened to kill a woman in a chilling call remains free to walk the streets because a legal wrangle means he cannot get the help he needs.

Sakkir Choudhury, who has 42 previous convictions for making nuisance and threatening phone calls in a 10-year nationwide offending spree, desperately needs help with mental health problems, Sunderland magistrates heard yesterday.

The 30-year-old, of Beechwood Street, Thornhill, Sunderland, was due to be sentenced yesterday for sending a malicious communication.

He terrorised a young woman in Devon with a series of frightening phone calls after he picked her number at random.

He told his victim he was watching her house and that he was going to kill her, causing the terrified victim to fear for her life.

The calls, which were made earlier this year, were traced back to Choudhury’s mobile phone.

Choudhury pleaded guilty last month, but sentencing has now been delayed three times because no funding is available to carry out a mental health assessment.

Sunderland magistrates adjourned the case on April 10, asking for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

District Judge Roger Elsey adjourned the case again on May 6, for a psychiatric assessment, adding that delving into Choudhury’s mental health could be the only way to stop him re-offending.

The judge told the court: “If that doesn’t help, I don’t know what we will do.”

However, nobody appears willing to pick up the bill for an assessment, and without one, the court cannot order the Probation Service to treat his mental issues.

As a result, Choudhury was released on unconditional bail until June 26.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “He has previous convictions for 42 offences, predominantly of the same nature.”

Mr Anderson added that Choudhury has convictions from courts in Surrey, Luton, South East Hampshire, Bedfordshire, Rotherham and Gateshead.

He most recently appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on another matter last June.

Earlier in 2014 he was jailed for impersonating a police officer.

In 2005, he admitted making 25,000 calls to Crimestoppers, which cost the charity 9.6p a minute to receive.

And in 2010 he called customers of a Luton takeaway, telling them he had taken money from their credit cards and issued terrifying threats.

Defence solicitor Willie Johnstone asked for his client to be sentenced immediately so he can be supervised by probation officers.

“I don’t think there is any way there will be any funding available,” he added. “All we are doing is delaying Mr Choudhury’s access to the Probation Service.”

Probation officer Paul Grace said: “This gentleman has been assessed as posing a risk to the public. The sooner we have him under supervision the better.

“An activity requirement places an obligation to attend at the given place and a given a time not formally agreed at the point of sentence. He can be under supervision within the week.”

But chairman of the bench, Janet Hutton said: “We take your point, Mr Grace, in wanting Mr Choudhury to have supervision, but unfortunately because of our sentencing difficulties, in the absence of this information, we do feel we need to require the courts service to pursue the matter of funding.”

Choudhury also stands to be sentenced for two public order offences committed on December 21 when he made obscene gestures to a woman at Brockley Whins Metro station in South Tyneside.