[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 7 June 2007, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Death threats man given jail term
Duns Sheriff Court - Crown copyright picture
Pinnons was jailed for nine months for threatening a witness
A man who threatened to kill a witness in a trial he was involved in has been jailed for nine months.

Mark Pinnons, 26, of Hurkur Crescent, Eyemouth, sent a threatening letter warning the man that he would be "sliced and diced" if he was jailed.

Pinnons admitted a series of charges at Duns Sheriff Court, including one of perverting the course of justice.

Sheriff Kevin Drummond said threatening a witness was one of the most serious offences in the judicial catalogue.

A spokesman for Victim Support Scotland said the intimidation of witnesses and victims of crime was something it dealt with on an "almost daily basis".

All of the evidence - whether it is at sheriff court or high court - is that those with the powers to sentence are recognising the seriousness of the issue
Victim support spokesman

"If they are a witness in court in many of the old fashioned courts these people have to walk past the accused's family and friends to gain access to a court building," he said.

"We also deal with cases where fairly serious threats have been made - it is part and parcel of our work.

"All of the evidence - whether it is at sheriff court or high court - is that those with the powers to sentence are recognising the seriousness of the issue."

'Police action'

The spokesman said it was vital that such offences were dealt with by a "punishment fitting the crime".

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders police said it would continue to tackle any such incidents.

She said any reports of threatening behaviour - whether related to a court case or not - would face police action.

"We will take a very, very firm view of that and we will report the circumstances to the procurator fiscal," she said.

"We are very grateful for the support we receive from the public in the Scottish Borders.

"If we thought they were being persecuted for this we would report it - as we would any such incident."


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific