Man threatened to kidnap son and burn down house after ex refused to ban men visiting

Bristol Crown Court.

Bristol Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A Weston teenager threatened to burn down his ex-girlfriend’s house and kidnap his infant son.

Ceejay Matthews made the threat to his ex after their 18-month relationship ended in the summer.

Bristol Crown Court was told how on August 8, the couple had argued and Matthews, aged 19, attempted to impose a ban on other men visiting her home or seeing his son, before making the threats.

He accepted going to the address and being 'nasty and spiteful' to police, but said he could not recall specific threats as he was 'under the influence' at the time.

Matthews, of Meadow Street, pleaded guilty to threatening to damage property, at the hearing on Wednesday.

Prosecutor James Haskell told the court Matthews behaviour had became 'more volatile' as the relationship progressed and he was abusing drugs and alcohol.

He said: "There was no element of pre-planning, but it was designed to control."

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Lucy Taylor, defending, argued although the victim described 'being scared the threat would be carried out' it could not have been 'so serious' or 'she would have reported it at the time'.

However, James Haskell rebuffed the claim stating: "This is a part of domestic abuse.

"She was trying to keep it together while feeling some affection for the defendant."

During mitigation Miss Taylor told the court, Matthews suffered from mental health issues including anxiety depression and PTSD as a result of a troubled childhood.

She said: "He is extremely sorry for his actions."

Matthews had no previous convictions but had received a caution in 2011 for criminal damage.

Judge Mark Horton, addressing Matthews, said: "The threats you made of kidnapping a child and arson are two of the most serious you can make, let alone to the mother of the child.

"It is quite clear that were it not for your behaviour in drink and drugs you might have managed to hold that relationship together.

"But you have now terrified her."

Matthews was given an 18-month community order with 30 days' alcohol treatment, a three-month curfew and ordered to pay a £90 victim surcharge,