Troll sentenced for threats against Broads forum administrator
PUBLISHED: 16:22 09 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:35 09 November 2017
An internet troll who made a number of chilling death threats against the administrator of an online Norfolk Broads forum has been handed a restraining order.
The case related to online messages sent to Miles Weston, the administrator of Norfolk Broads Forum (www.norfolkbroadsforum.co.uk).
Leonard Bannister, 44, of Helmsley Grove, Hull, was arrested by Humberside police and charged with one count of malicious communications. He appeared at the Kingston-upon-Hull Magistrates’ Court on November 7.
Bannister was handed a restraining order in which he may not contact Mr Weston for two years, has been ordered to pay a £85 victim surcharge and was given an 80 hour community order for a year.
One of the messages sent to Mr Weston read: “You have called me far too many names, and I cannot allow your mockery to go without recourse.
“You just signed your own death warrant, sir. Your boat is going to be tracked to a point where you’ll be killed, bagged, and thrown into the river.
“Enjoy the time you have left, Miles, because your death will be horrific and shown on every Broads-based forum in existence.”
Mr Weston said Bannister had registered on his forum as Dreamer.
“He was complaining about the other forums and it all started to get a bit toxic. I messaged him and told him to calm down but he became aggressive and made death threats.”
Commenting on his sentencing, Mr Weston said: “I’m very pleased with the result. I initially thought the police were dragging their feet on it a bit but the conclusion has been worth the wait.
“I hope that this will go some way to deterring this kind of abuse online and make the internet safer as trolling is a big problem.
“Some of it is silly but other comments are more serious and you should not be allowed to make death threats to someone and get away with it.”
Mr Weston said he felt the sentence would help put an end to online abuse.
“There is a lot of mud slinging on many of these forums and I think this has helped put a stop to a lot of it.”