Blackmail terror: Serial offender’s rape-threat to woman’s grandchildren

editorial image
Have your say

A PRISONER wrote to a woman saying he would send someone to rape her grandchildren unless she sent him £50.

Joseph Harry Brown sent the letter in the name of another prisoner in Durham Prison to avoid checks on his mail, Durham Crown Court heard.

“The letter said Brown knew people who were getting out all the time who would enjoy raping the woman’s grandchildren,” said Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting.

“It made a series of other extremely unpleasant threats.”

The court heard Brown is serving an indeterminate sentence for public protection and he committed a catalogue of offences after he was refused parole.

While in jail he took a prisoner hostage, tied him up, assaulted him and set fire to his cell before he was sent to Durham, from where he sent the letter.

Brown was then transferred to Preston Prison where he again set fire to a cell.

Brown, 41, of no fixed abode, admitted false imprisonment, making threats to kill, assault by beating, blackmail and two charges of arson.

The offences took place between January and March of this year.

The court heard there are 113 offences on Brown’s record, including arson, assault and robbery.

Milena Bennett, defending, said in mitigation: “Unusually, my client instructs me he does not wish me to put forward on his behalf any matters in relation to the offences.

“He accepts he committed these offences and knows he faces a lengthy sentence.”

Judge Michael Cartlidge sentenced Brown to another indeterminate sentence for public protection.

The judge told him: “It seems you think your life is hopeless after your parole was refused.

“That is a tragedy in itself.

“It also seems you are determined to spend the rest of your life in prison.

“You remain a danger to the public, and were I passing a determinate sentence it would have been 15 years.”

The judge said Brown will not be considered for parole until he has served seven-and-a-half years.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho