IRA threats letters: Londonderry man gets suspended jail term

A man who wrote threatening letters to another man signing them "IRA Creggan Derry" has been given a six-month jail term suspended for three years.

A second letter, containing a death threat against the man, was posted to Fr Michael Canny and delivered to St Oliver Plunkett Church in Strathfoyle.

Both letters were written by Sean Martin Duddy, 52, of Corrody Road, Londonderry.

Duddy admitted charges of threatening to kill and attempted intimidation.

Londonderry Magistrate's Court was told that when the letters were examined by forensic scientists, Duddy's DNA was found on them.

The district judge was told one of the letters threatening to have the man shot, was posted to the victim's home.

Duddy wrote in the letters that the victim, who was named, had three days to get out of his home "or he will be executed".

He wrote the letters on 25 January.

A defence solicitor said Duddy had formed "mistaken opinions" about his victim and had since written a letter of apology to him.

The district judge said that while it was an "amateurish offence" it was a "wicked and malicious attempt" to intimidate someone to leave their home.

As well as imposing the suspended sentence, Mr McElholm ordered the defendant to pay £300 in compensation to his victim and warned Duddy he had six months to pay the amount.