Judge warns Havant teenager who sent ‘disgusting’ messages: try me and you’ll go to prison

Scott Rapley, 19, was handed a suspended prison sentence at Portsmouth Crown Court
Scott Rapley, 19, was handed a suspended prison sentence at Portsmouth Crown Court

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A TEENAGER who harassed a woman after getting injured in an ‘altercation’ has been warned he will go to jail if he causes any more trouble.

Scott Rapley was left needing treatment after the fight at a pub on January 21.

There’s no doubt about that, you just try me and you’ll find I’m a man of my word

Recorder Adam Feest QC

But he then targeted Harmony How, the girlfriend of a man he held responsible for the incident.

Rapley sent Ms How a text message saying she and James Clapson ‘messed with the wrong people’, and they ‘had made a mistake and they better watch themselves.’

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Ms How then got a call from a foreign number on January 24 making similar threats so she called police.

Tom Wright, prosecuting, said Rapley left 34 missed calls in 10 minutes on January 29 from 11.30pm.

‘One call she picked up and asked the caller to leave her alone,’ Mr Wright said.

‘They said they knew who she was and where she lived.

‘That was happening every day around the same time.’

On February 2 the victim received a Facebook message from James Morton – a fake account set up by Rapley to give an ‘impression of a gang’ – making threats against Mr Clapson and Ms How.

Rapley then sent a picture of a knife to Mr Clapson.

He made more calls until February 9, with Rapley quizzed by police on February 11, where he made partial admissions to officers.

In a victim statement Ms How said: ‘I feel very threatened and worry for my safety.’

She added: ‘I have been having nightmares and struggling to sleep, I have become very distressed.’

Bar worker Rapley, 19, of Cedar Gardens, Havant admitted conveying a threatening message to Mr Clapson and harassment of Ms How at an earlier hearing.

Rapley breached a 10-month suspended sentence for harassment and perverting the course of justice in 2015.

That was for sending messages to a woman, calling her and setting up a Facebook profile to send himself messages, which he told police were from the woman.

Handing Rapley a six-month sentence suspended for two years, Recorder Adam Feest QC said the teenager would be jailed next time.

He said: ‘There’s no doubt about that, you just try me and you’ll find I’m a man of my word.’

Judge Feest added: ‘You have a habit of behaving in the most offensive and threatening way when you use electronic communications.

‘This isn’t the first time you’ve come before the courts having used text, telephone, Facebook – whatever.

‘It may be to intimidate, threaten and frighten your victims. It’s entirely uncalled for, whatever slight you felt you had received in that pub that day. Sending pictures of knives to people who were not responsible and threatening them in the way you did is disgusting behaviour.’

Rapley must pay £100 to each victim, complete 120 hours of unpaid work and 40 days of rehabilitation.

The court was told he is remorseful, he had injuries after the pub incident and he has started to drink but not at a ‘problem level’.