‘Bravado and bluster’ led to threats to destroy a Pembroke Dock family’s homes and hound them out of town.

Anthony Bentley, of Queens Street, Pembroke Dock, pleaded guilty to sending a message which was grossly offensive or menacing when he appeared from custody before Haverfordwest magistrates on Wednesday, August 1.

Sian Vaughan, prosecuting, told the court that Bentley’s ex-partner received five messages from him via social media between 12pm and 5pm on July 30, which ‘did not make for pleasant reading’.

He wrote that he would be coming up to see her soon, before stating: “If you don’t call me I will drive your family out of Pembroke Dock. I will pay people to destroy their houses and cars.”

Bentley, 45, ended the messages with: “You will see, you wait.”

Miss Vaughan added that the complainant, who had moved to an undisclosed addressed, no longer wished to have any contact from Bentley, and asked for a restraining order.

“The tone of the messages is becoming increasingly concerning.”

Jonathan Webb, defending, told the court that despite an ‘unenviable record’ Bentley had been out of trouble for more than 18 months.

“He is trying his very best to turn his life around.”

He said the couple were together for nine years before splitting up, and he had become her carer.

“He has not a clue as to where she is in the world. She is in ill health and he is obviously concerned about her.”

Mr Webb added: “People sometimes say things that they do not mean when they are in their cups.

“He says he never would have carried out any of this, it was all bravado and bluster. He is sorry it upset her.”

“They were empty, hollow threats.”

The court heard that unemployed Bentley did not have the funds to pay anyone to drive the family out of town as he had messaged.

Sentencing was adjourned for 14 days for a report to be completed and Bentley was released on bail with the conditions to stay at his address, not to contact the victim and to report to his local police station daily.

Bentley said: “I am very sorry it has come to this.”