Philip Dawson walked free from two courts a free man this week after what a judge described as as “bad a case” the court had ever dealt with
Abusive bully Philip Dawson walked free from two courts a free man this week after what a judge described as as “bad a case” the court had ever dealt with.
The tattooed Broughshane lout had told the woman who had just had his baby he would release explicit images of her and would strangle her.
His victim was left terrified when he actually turned up at her house shortly after issuing the threat to rape her corpse.
But when confronted by the Sunday World this week, the 37-year-old landscaper was much more sheepish – blaming alcohol for his shocking behaviour.
He said he “didn’t want to get into the whole case” but he said, “I’ll give you a statement, pal”.
Standing outside his home in Rectory Fields, he told us: “The case is settled; I didn’t agree with everything that was in her statement, but I accept I was threatening on the phone and it was completely out of order.
“It was toxic relationship but I know what I did was wrong. I apologised to the girl and I’m glad it’s all over and I didn’t get sent to prison.
“Last thing I’ll say is just some advice to stay away from alcohol, Thanks.”
It emerged this week his petrified victim had to take months off work and move to a new location.
On Monday at Antrim Crown Court, Dawson was handed a two-year probation order for assaulting and harassing his ex-partner and 24 hours later, this time at Ballymena Magistrates Court, he walked free again, this time with a suspended jail sentence.
Describing it as a “nasty case... as bad a case as this court can ever deal with,” Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter told Dawson, “I was minded to simply send you straight to prison – it’s a disgraceful case.”
“It’s a nasty case – he blackmailed to see a child,” said the judge, who told Dawson while the custody threshold was passed, given the probation order imposed by the higher court the day before, he would suspend the eight-month prison sentence for two years.
In the Magistrates Court Dawson admitted making a threat to kill on January 29 last year and the persistent improper use of a telecommunication network to cause annoyance on the same date.
In relation to his Crown Court case, Dawson entered guilty pleas to two counts of assault, harassment, possessing a weapon, and theft of a bank card and £250 cash.
That case had its beginnings on August 19, 2020 when Dawson and his ex, who had only given birth a few weeks beforehand, had an argument.
Prosecuting counsel Suzanne Gallagher described how there had been “physical altercation” when Dawson “manhandled the victim and may have caused bruising to her face”.
“In the course of this altercation a knife was produced. The defendant gained possession of the knife and accepts that by the manner of his possession and in the course of the altercation he caused the victim to apprehend a further assault,” said the barrister.
Ms Gallagher added that in the two months after it, and while on bail with conditions not to contact the victim, Dawson “continued to make mobile phone contact with the complainant which amounted to harassment”.
Dawson’s case was brought to the more powerful Crown Court on the basis of other charges which were then not proceeded with and Ms Gallagher said she accepted the case in the petty sessions “on one view, is more serious”.
On January 29 last year – two months after he finished his harassment campaign – Dawson threatened the victim that if he wasn’t allowed to see his child, he would release explicit photos of her he claimed to have.
He also threatened, the court heard, to come to her house with a knife to rape her and to kill her, declaring that he “would strangle her...that he wanted to see every last inch of breath out of her”.
He called her on the phone, on Instagram and on a video call on WhatsApp telling her she “needed to let her live with him and if not he would rape her, and kill her and rape her corpse”.
Twenty minutes later, she spotted Dawson’s car but, thankfully, the police had already arrived and when he saw their car, the thug drove on but he was arrested a short time later.
At an earlier hearing a defence barrister said it had been a “domestic matter” and the defendant had “emotional struggles” which included “the breakdown of a relationship”.
When he was “abusing alcohol,” it created a “perfect storm within which to commit this offence”. He said when “recordings” were played to Dawson he entered guilty pleas.
While Judge Roseanne McCormick KC imposed a two-year probation order, on the basis that Dawson had already spend four and a half months in custody, she warned that time on remand would count for nought should be reoffend or breach the order.
She told the thug the courts had made it clear that “aggression, coercive behaviour and violence” will not be tolerated and describing his offences as “appalling behaviour” she added: “let me spell it out – it won’t be a long discussion if you breach the order”.
“You know and I know there’s a ten-and-a-half-month immediate custodial sentence on the table,” said the judge.
In addition, the successful landscaper is to pay his victim £2,750 compensation and the judge also imposed a five-year restraining order.
The judge said she hoped the compensation would help her “recalibrate her life”.