Behind bars after threatening to kill probation officer

editorial image

A 27-year-old man who made a threat to kill a West Yorkshire probation officer has been given an eight-year extended prison sentence.

A judge told Paul Lonergan that it looked as if he had destroyed the female officer’s career because of the impact on her since he made the threat to a mental health nurse while he was in custody at Halifax police station earlier this month.

Scales of justice

Scales of justice


Prosceutor Michael Greenhalgh told Bradford Crown Court that Lonergan had been released from a prison sentence, but during a consultation with a doctor he said was “having feelings about stabbing people”.

A mental health nurse and police officers went to Lonergan’s address to carry out a “welfare check” and he again said he felt stabbing an unnamed female.

After voluntarily going to the police station Lonergan told the nurse he wanted to kill a number of people because he would then be sent to prison for a long time.

Mr Greenhalgh said Lonergan said he wanted to kill a male sex offender and the female probation officer who he blamed for putting him a bail hostel with sex offenders.

Lonergan, who has previous convictions for offences including harassment, pleaded guilty to making the threat to kill the probation officer and Mr Greenhalgh read from her victim impact statement in which she described how news of the defendant’s threat had left her anxious and fearful of going out.

The officer said she was not sure if she could continue her work with the probation service as a result.


Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC told Lonergan that his threat had had a dreadful impact on the officer.

“It looks as though you’ve destroyed that lady’s career,” the judge said.

“She won’t be able to work for the probation service again so this is a very serious offence.”

Lonergan, of Sefton Terrace, Halifax, was sentenced to four years in prison for the offence, but on his release he will also be subject to an extended licence period of four years.

Judge Durham Hall also imposed an indefinite restraining order which bans Lonergan from having any contact with the probation officer in the future.