Cocaine addict said he would shoot his family

Robert Williams was jailed for theft and witness intimidation at Portsmouth Crown Court after threatening to shoot his family
Robert Williams was jailed for theft and witness intimidation at Portsmouth Crown Court after threatening to shoot his family
Have your say

A COCAINE addict who threatened to shoot his brother and father in front of his mother to get her to drop theft allegations has been jailed for 18 months.

Robert Williams stole his sister’s laptop that had her only photos of her dead fiance after being taken back in by his family when dumped by his girlfriend.

He was funding a £300 to £500-a-day habit at the time of the theft.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard he had previously been barred from the family home but was taken back in despite a ‘history of conflict between Williams and members of his family’.

But prosecutor Roderick Blain said Williams, 25, quickly started stealing from the house.

Mr Blain said: ‘When he came back to live with his family, all seemed to be going well.

‘Then there came a time when his parents returned home and had heard he appeared to be advertising a laptop for sale, a laptop that at that stage was believed to belong to his sister. His parents discovered a mobile phone had gone missing.

‘After initial denials he produced that mobile phone from a sock and gave that back. It was his mother’s work phone.’

But Williams’ sister then came home, in Fifth Street, Fratton, after finding out he was selling her laptop for £120 on Facebook.

Williams was banned from the house but the next day they found him inside – they didn’t call in police until he was spotted the day after that taking items to a pawn brokers.

Within two days Williams made 50 phone calls to his mother trying to get her to drop the theft allegation.

Mr Blain said: ‘The threats were made in association with “dropping the charges”, saying it would never get to court as these family members would be dead.

‘His mother was in genuine fear he would carry out the threats.’

In a call the next day he told his mother he had ‘10 people with him all tooled up’. Mr Blain said: ‘She felt that meant they had weapons. She heard people in the background.

‘He mentioned he had a firearm and said he would come round to the family home and drop his brother and father, and his mother would have to watch this happen.’

She then called the police, who arrested Williams, who has 12 convictions for 19 offences.

He later admitted theft and witness intimidation.

His sister was left feeling unsafe in her own home and lost ‘irreplaceable’ photos of her fiance.

Sentencing, judge Roger Hetheringon jailed Williams, of no fixed address, for five months for the theft, 10 months for the intimidation and three months for a suspended sentence he got after assaulting his pregnant partner.

All the terms run consecutively, totalling 18 months.

Speaking via videolink Williams said: ‘I can’t forgive myself knowing what pain I caused.’

The judge said Williams overcoming his addiction was key to ‘successful rehabilitation’ but added: ‘In my view I can’t do other than impose an immediate custodial sentence.’