A MAN has been jailed after he admitted threatening a witness in a criminal investigation.

Richard Damien Wood, of Mitchell Street, Weymouth, admitted allegations of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and intimidation.

Prosecutor Gary Venturi told Dorchester Crown Court that Wood, 39, was asked by his partner to remove her then flatmate Stuart Coleman from the property after the pair had an argument on April 17.

He said: “That was the genesis of what went on. Mr Coleman was duly ejected from the premises, and in the course of that he fell over and was forcibly dragged out of the property and dealt with very aggressively, completely in excess of what was required.

“He was treated very roughly and held on the ground by Mr Wood’s foot.”

Mr Coleman suffered bruises, tenderness in his ribs and swelling on the palm of his hand, and was treated by doctors at the accident and emergency department, the court heard.

Mr Venturi added that while investigations were being carried out by police, the defendant told Mr Coleman he would ‘kick in’ his head and ‘burn him’ if the charges were not dropped.

He said: “Mr Coleman was in company at a different address and was in the garden when Mr Wood attended to deliver post.

“Upon seeing the victim, he directed the words into Mr Coleman’s face in a very intimidating fashion.”

In mitigation, Richard Griffiths said of the actual bodily harm offence that all of the persons involved had been drinking ‘far too much for far too long’.

He added: “With the witness intimidation it is not as serious as some. There was no direct physical contact. It is a threat made in drink with no intention of seeing it through.”

Judge Roger Jarvis jailed Wood, who has nine previous convictions, for 25 weeks for assault, 34 weeks for intimidation and a further week for being in breach of a conditional discharge.

All are to run consecutively.

He said the attack on Mr Coleman had been ‘degrading and humiliating’.

“That is not the end of the matter. You made very specific and frightening threats. This undermines the process of justice and the court takes a very serious view on that.”

He added: “You have a history of violent behaviour. I understand there was the consumption of drink but that is not a mitigating factor. If you can’t behave properly in drink then the answer is simple: do not drink so much.”