A MAN who was once jailed for threatening to cut the throat of a Crown prosecutor is back behind bars after he made threats to kill the family members of serving police officer.

Neil Skiffington, 35, of Dockwell Terrace in the Llanwern area of Newport, pleaded guilty to making the chilling threat in a phone call to the 101 service on March 16 this year.

The threats were made by Skiffington in relation to a previous prison sentence he served after being convicted of harassment, threatening violence and wounding with intent in September 2015.

All of the counts in 2015 were carried out against his former parter, and Skiffington was handed a 33 month sentence.

But Skiffington has carried a grudge against certain Gwent Police officers ever since, claiming that they withheld vital evidence during the trial that landed him in jail.

Today (Friday, April 4) at Newport Crown Court, prosecutor Hilary Roberts explained that it wasn't the case that evidence was withheld during Skiffington's original trial.

"The defendant has nevertheless made himself a nuisance by making calls to the police since then, maintaining that evidence has been hidden and making threats to police officers," said Mr Roberts.

Mr Roberts said Skiffington was also sentenced to a two year sentence by Bristol Crown Court in January 2017 for threats made to a Crown prosecutor who handled the original 2015 domestic violence case.

"The threats were that he would be stalked and he would have his throat cut," said Mr Roberts.

South Wales Argus:

(Neil Skiffington, 35, of Dockwell Terrace in Llanwern)

"This behaviour has continued since he was released from the subsequent sentence."

Logs kept by Gwent Police from February 2018 to March 16 this year show the substance of the calls made by Skiffington.

In all, he made seven calls in that period, the court heard.

"On March 16 this year he used the 101 system to call the police. He was mumbling at first, but he sarcastically asked how much it had cost the tax payer to imprison him," said Mr Roberts.

"He referenced DS Williams, PC Greening and PC Hopkins who were all involved in the original case.

"In this conversation he was heard to say: 'Let me tell you this. For every piece of evidence that has gone missing I will take out one of his family members, right?'"

In a victim impact statement read out to the court DS Williams, and PC Greening, both 17-year veterans, told the court they feared for the safety of their children, and had installed emergency alarms in their homes.


Girl, 17, arrested after 'suspicious' fire at the old Centurion Inn in Newport

Man 'assaulted' in the doorway of a popular nightclub as he was being thrown out by bouncers

Man arrested after driver 'assaulted' on Bedwas roundabout following BMW crash

Since the calls started, PC Hopkins, a police officer of 14 years has stopped using social media because of his fear that the defendant would stalk him online, the court heard.

Speaking in mitigation, Jeffrey Jones told the court that his client had stopped taking his anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medication the time of the incident.

"He is conscious that his behaviour will have caused significant distress, and he does apologise for that," added Mr Jones.

"He still carries a grievance but he knows full well that he should only pursue that through the proper channels."

Judge Daniel Williams told Skiffington that he "rejected" his explanation of being off his medication.

"The police officers concerned were extremely worried for themselves and their families.

"You said it was because you stopped your medication. I'm afraid that I reject that explanation.

"You continue it seems to simmer with resentment and grievances as you continue to blame others for your own crimes.

"In truth I'm drawn to the view that you have no victim empathy, whether to your partner or these police officers."

Skiffington was jailed for 12 months and issued with a restraining order against four Gwent Police officers.

Speaking on behalf of Gwent Police, detective constable Reed said, “Neil Skiffington chose to use and abuse the 101 system and make a number of malicious comments towards Gwent Police staff members and Police Officers.

“Not only did Skiffington cause distress to those persons that the comments were aimed at, he also took up the valuable time of call centre staff who had to deal with Skiffington and his outrageous behaviour.

“Today’s sentence reflects that this behaviour will not be tolerated.”