Car salesman’s life threatened
Man who bought a second hand car that broke down found guilty of racially aggravated harassment
A man threatened to “execute” a car dealer and his family after a vehicle he purchased broke down.
The car dealer suffered multiple abusive texts from the customer who has been sentenced at SwanseaCrown Court.
Michael Bailey bought a second hand car, a Mini Cooper S, from salesman Amin Shafi in July last year. The car dealer sells his vehicles online and at a secure industrial estate in Cardiff.
A price was agreed between the pair over the phone, and the vehicle was delivered to Bailey, who went ahead with the purchase after a test drive.
But later that same evening, Bailey texted Mr Shafi to say the vehicle had overheated and was stuck on the side of the road. Mr Shafi then received a series of further abusive text messages. These included:
“I’ll come see you when I’m back, you dirty stinking ****”, “Believe me **** I have got your address your company is registered to, look forward to meeting your wife and kids you ****”.
Mr Shafi stated that he feared for his safety and that of his family.
Prior to receiving the text messages, Shafi had already arranged for the vehicle to be recovered. The defendant had been informed and that a collection had been organised. He also informed the defendant that he was unhappy about the way he was being spoken to and, as a result, the police were being contacted.
Bailey, 35, who lives in Swansea, responded by sending a further series of abusive text messages:
“Report it you cheeky ****, police won’t find me, you’re a dead man”, “Don’t want it resolved, I want your **** head on a plate”, “I promise you this, I will put a hammer through your skull”, “You better make peace with God and kiss your family goodbye”, “You’ve got me stuck in England when my mum is terminally ill in Wales. If I don’t get back to see her in time, I will execute you and your family.”
Some days later, further text messages were sent with a threatening tone.
Customer not always right
Mr Shafi explained to the court the impact the messages had had on him.
“These messages have put me on edge, where I warned my whole family and my colleagues to beware in case any strange persons turned up unannounced.
“I have also informed security at my workplace to be more vigilant. I’ve advised my family to be careful when opening my front door and to check before they go out to make sure no one is waiting for them. I fear that my property will be damaged and I fear for my safety, and that of my family after the threats made. The defendant has said he does not care about police and that causes me to fear even more.”
Bailey attended a voluntary police interview on October 3 last year where he fully admitted the offences. He told officers he had “got himself worked up over his mother and thought he was not going to see her again”. At the time she was unwell and had cervical cancer.
He appeared before Swansea Crown Court for sentencing having admitted a count of racially aggravated harassment with fear of violence.
Bailey’s solicitor, Andrew Evans, said: “The defendant accepts that the language and threats that he made towards the complainant over a number of days were abhorrent to say the least. There was no excuse whatsoever for the language he used in communications.”
He added that Bailey was “not seeking to make any excuses for his behaviour. It is something he is deeply ashamed of.”
Bailey was sentenced to a four-month prison sentence, suspended for a year. He must also carry out a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement, and 150 hours unpaid work.