Ashington man compared himself to Raoul Moat and sent sinister Snapchats to ex while in HMP Northumberland

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A prison inmate compared himself to Raoul Moat and sent sinister Snapchat threats to his ex from his cell that ‘struck fear into her heart’.

Daniel Johnson was serving a jail term for violence on another former partner when he targeted a woman he had been in a previous relationship with last November.

Newcastle Crown Court heard he sent warnings that she would be maimed or killed, by either him or someone else, using Snapchat messages that automatically deleted from her phone after they were read.

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Johnson, who also called the victim from a mobile phone despite being behind bars, warned her "I'm going to kill you when I'm out", threatened to post private pictures of her online and said she would be seriously harmed by him or a "third party".

Newcastle Crown Court. Newcastle Crown Court.
Newcastle Crown Court.

Prosecutor John Crawford told the court Johnson asked the woman if she had watched a TV documentary about Raoul Moat and added: "He said 'watch it and take on board what happened', as that's him and her."

Moat became notorious in 2010 when, after he was released from prison, he shot former girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and murdered her new boyfriend ChrisBrown with the gun in Birtley, Gateshead.

He then shot and blinded PC David Rathband before he went on the run and sparked a nationwide manhunt which ended in Rothbury.

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In a bid to get proof of the terrifying plight Johnson had put her in, the victim, who was convinced she would be killed, used another device to take pictures of the Snapchat warnings before they could vanish and handed them to the police.

As a result, Johnson was arrested in July, on the day he was due to be released from HMP Northumberland, and has now been jailed for five years and three months.

He was also given a four year extended licence period due to the risk he poses and lifelong restraining order.

Mr recorder Tom Little KC told Johnson: "While in prison you bombarded the victim with a large number of Snapchat messages which, as can be done with Snapchat, would disappear after 24 hours.

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"This included a number of menacing threats to kill, with statements that you or someone else would cause her really serious harm."

Recorder Little said the messages were "chilling" and added: "There cannot be any doubt they were intended by you to strike fear into her heart and that is what they did.

"They were specific and direct threats to not only kill her but to maim and scar her.

"If a screenshot had been taken you would have been informed of that because of the way Snapchat works therefore photographs were taken using her son's tablet.

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"Had that not been done I have not doubt you would have denied sending them."

Recorder Little added: "You compared yourself to Raoul Moat, with the obvious threat and menace that involved.

"She genuinely feared for her own life. She was and is terrified of what will happen when you are released."

John Wilkinson, defending, said Johnson has health problems that make his time in custody "extremely unpleasant".

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Mr Wilkinson said alcohol was "readily available on the wing" while Johnson was serving his sentence and this did not help his behaviour towards the woman.

Johnson, 30, of Albatross Way, Ashington, admitted harassment.