Child porn offender threatens to kill Northampton Judge following sentencing

A child porn offender phoned Northampton Crown Court where he had been sentenced and threatened to kill the judge, a court was told yesterday (Wednesday, January 18).

Thursday, 19th January 2017, 10:45 am
Updated Thursday, 19th January 2017, 10:52 am
A child porn offender has threatened to kill a Northampton Judge following a sentencing

Joshua Lee, 32, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, told an official at Northampton Crown Court that he wanted to 'question and interrogate' Judge Michael Fowler, who had sentenced him in December 2015.

Lee, who at the time of his offences was living in Towcester, had been sentenced by Judge Fowler to a 12 months community order with mental health requirement and 12 months supervision for distributing indecent pictures.

"It was explained to him that was not possible," said prosecutor James Haskell at Gloucester crown court yesterday, where Lee admitted making a threat to kill Judge Fowler on September 16 2016.

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"He became abusive and began swearing.

"Later a further telephone call was made to another colleague at the court and again he said he wanted to meet Judge Fowler.

"He then said 'He is a f***ing goner. He is a f***ing dead man.'"

Subsequently, the defendant called for the third time and spoke again to the first official he had called, Catherine Witts, Mr Haskell said.

He told her "This is a death threat to Judge Fowler."

Lee was also made subject to a five-year sexual harm prevention order.

Yesterday the court was told that two psychiatrists have examined Lee - who has been at Wotton Lawn Hospital in Gloucester for the last three months - and they agree that he should be sentenced to treatment under the Mental Health Act rather than imprisonment.

Lee's solicitor Jason Coulter said the latest reports on his client's condition were encouraging.

"His condition is improving steadily," said the lawyer.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC made a hospital order requiring Lee to be detained in Wotton Lawn until it is considered safe for him to be discharged.

The judge told Lee that his threats would have caused great anxiety and concern to court staff and the judge.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC said: "The judge would undoubtedly have been disturbed by hearing what was said.

"It is quite inevitable that once your threats were made known there would have been added precautions taken to look after him and protect him and that is expensive.

"Fortunately, it is very rare for people to threaten judges."But you are suffering from this horrible illness and I have no desire to punish you. You need help and treatment and that is precisely what you are going to get."