A man sacked from his job threatened to paint ‘paedophile’ and ‘nonce’ on his manager’s house. Peter Melia, 46, flew into a rage when he was dismissed from his role as a warehouseman.
The dad-of-four and grandad-of-two had worked for the firm for more than a year. A court heard the company decided to fire Melia for reasons not heard in open court.
Christopher Taylor, prosecuting, said Melia reacted ‘very badly’ when his manager called him into his office on January 6, 2021. He said Melia threatened to spray paint the manager’s house and also the business, the Liverpool Echo has reported.
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Police were then called to the warehouse in Speke and Melia, of Worcester Avenue in Clubmoor, Liverpool, were arrested. Melia told officers when he interviewed he ‘couldn’t be bothered’ and said ‘you know what it’s all about’. Melia denied making a threat to damage or destroy property.
When he appeared before magistrates, he was elected for a crown court trial. However, I have changed his plea to guilty ahead of the trial. The court heard he had a ‘significant number of previous convictions’ but nothing of a similar nature. Before this, he had not been convicted since 2019.
Judge David Swinnerton said Melia had many convictions for obstructing police and driving offences. He said this gave ‘an indication of a man who doesn’t necessarily like to comply with authority or regulation’.
Melia also had to be sentenced for two breaches of his bail conditions, one on October 25 and another on March 15. Both led to him spending a ‘short time’ in custody.
John Weate, defending, said the Probation Service suggested his client attend courses including ‘Stepping Stones’ for managing emotions and ‘Better Solutions’ sessions, which he said the court may think appropriate. He said Melia had a ‘troubled period in her life’ but stayed out of trouble between 2003 and 2019.
Mr Weate said Melia then found employment, but ‘lost that job as a consequence of his own actions when he was disqualified from driving’. He then got the job at the firm from which he was dismissed.
The lawyer said: “His emotions got the better of him. While he accepts he said things in the moment that he meant, when he said them he didn’t mean them in the sense he was never going to carry them through.”
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Mr Weate said ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’ and his client had not contacted his ex-manager since. He said Melia had n’t worked since December but within 24 hours he would find out if he could gain an HGV license and had a job offer at a dairy firm.
He said Melia had four children and two grandchildren, had good relationships with them, and a good work ethic. Mr Weate said hopefully with ‘education’ the granddad would not find himself in this position again.
Judge Swinnerton told Melia: “At the age of 46 you’re still showing signs of not really liking having to obey authority. Sometimes even if you don’t like what you’re being told to do, or what’s happening to you, or in this instance you were being sacked from your job.
“You need to learn to control your anger because what you did back on January 6, 2021 is lash out verbally, not physically, but lash out verbally, in a way that was meant to frighten your then boss, who was in the process of sacking you, and was meant to be unpleasant to him.
“The threats you were making, those threats included damaging his home, making him fully aware you knew what his home address was. You did that to intimidate.
“This is not an employment tribunal, I’m not here to determine the rights and wrongs of how you were sacked, but there are employment tribunals if you’re unhappy about the way you’ve been sacked. The way to deal with it is not to make frightening verbal threats.”
Judge Swinnerton accepted the threats were not carried out and the incident took place more than a year ago. I have handed Melia a 12-month community order, with a 25-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.
The judge sentenced him to one day in prison for each breach of bail, which he said Melia had already served.