Homophobe jailed for threatening to kill brother-in-law and snap his kitten’s neck

Lily Wakefield March 6, 2021
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Leeds Combined Courts center

Leeds Crown Court heard that Stephen Brownsword sent his brother-in-law homophobic threats after a dispute over a TV and a kitten. (Universal Images Group via Getty/ Education Images)

A homophobe from Leeds has been jailed after threatening to put his brother-in-law in a “grave”, and vowing to kill his pet kitten.

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Stephen Brownsword, 28, sent his brother-in-law a series of homophobic texts and voice messages on 8 June, 2020, after they fell out over a TV and a kitten.

Leeds Crown Court heard that the homophobe sent 16 voice messages on the same day, threatening to “snap” his brother-in-law’s chin, “boot his jaw”, break his nose, put a hammer to his head, and “stomp on his grave”. Police had been contacted three times over the threats.

One witness said that they had seen Brownsword outside his brother-in-law’s house with a knife.

Prosecuting, James Kinsey said the victim was fearful as Brownsword had previous convictions for violent behaviour. At the time of his crime, he was already the subject of a suspended sentence who possession of a knife in public.

Upon his arrest, Brownsword told authorities he suffered from mental health problems, and that he felt unable to stop his threats once he had started.

Mitigating, Richard Reed said he “bitterly regretted his actions”, and added: “He is very sorry that he has let himself and his family down.”

Brownsword pleaded guilty to breaching his suspended sentence and to sending malicious communication, and was sentenced to 16 months in jail.

Judge Robin Mairs told him: “There was a dispute between the two of you. I do not really know what the dispute boiled down to, nor am I concerned about why.

“What concerns me is that you made significant threats of violence to man and beast.

“You have a significant history of violence and I have no doubt these messages caused the fear that you intended.

“Understandably, he was terrified. You turned up at his address threatening violence. That is a grossly aggravating feature of this offence.”

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