Threats made to burn Sunderland house

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A MAN forced his friends to drive at knifepoint as he tried to carry out threats to kill two women.

Drug user Paul Anthony Boddy rang ex-partner Sonia Broom to issue the warning and a graphic description of how he would attack her.

The 35-year-old then called his mother and threatened to burn down her house, before asking two mates to help him get from Coundon in County Durham to Sunderland.

Indicating he had a knife, and in an agitated state, his pals later told police they hoped he would calm down if they took him to Wearside.

During the terrifying journey, Boddy, who earlier accused the driver of sleeping with both women, sat in the back and poked the knife through the driver’s seat and cut the man’s head twice.

Bob Spragg, prosecuting at Durham Crown Court, said the men were able to flee when the driver slowed and put the car in to neutral and the passenger pulled the handbrake.

They called police. Boddy drove off and the car was spotted near Stanley, travelling at 70mph in a 30mph zone.

He failed to stop for police officers, but came to a halt when he was involved in a crash.

He later said he could not remember what happened.

Boddy, of Telford Road, Thorney Close, wrote two threatening letters to Ms Broom while on remand, breaching a non-molestation order.

In addition to two threats to kill he admitted grievous bodily harm, aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, possession of a bladed article and criminal damage, all on March 16, 2009.

The court heard the delay in proceedings was the result of assessments of Boddy’s mental health, which concluded he has a personality disorder.

It was also revealed that he was reconciled with his mother, and would be able to live with her.

Paul Currer, mitigating, said Boddy could be treated in the community, but would not get the same care in jail.

Judge Christopher Prince gave Boddy, who had served 919 days on remand, a three-year community order with supervision.

He was also given a three-year driving ban – with an extended test before he can drive again – and a permanent restraining order banning him from contacting Ms Broom.

He also agreed to the judge’s request for a three-year mental treatment requirement

Judge Prince highlighted that the driver of the car had shown “character, strength and fortitude,” after reading a letter detailing how the incident had affected him.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham