Pensioner's threat to blow up hostel

PUBLISHED: 12:39 26 July 2007 | UPDATED: 12:39 04 May 2010

A PENSIONER threatened to blow up a young person s hostel in Ely after he was taunted by occupants. Patrick Hessian - who lives near the Wheatsheaf Close premises - wrote letters saying he would blow them off the face of the earth with hand grenades, an

A PENSIONER threatened to blow up a young person's hostel in Ely after he was taunted by occupants.

Patrick Hessian - who lives near the Wheatsheaf Close premises - wrote letters saying he would "blow them off the face of the earth with hand grenades," and he would "fill the hostel with methane gas."

He later told police he hoped his threats had scared residents to death, and was unapologetic.

The 66-year-old Irishman sent a total of four letters, each one becoming more abusive and volatile, city magistrates were told.

"The letters were slightly nonsensical, and various expletives were contained in them," said prosecutor Emma Dmitriev.

Hessian, of 18 Wheatsheaf Close, Ely, admitted threatening occupants that he would cause an explosion between December 1 2005 and December 27 2006.

The hostel at 1 Wheatsheaf Close houses vulnerable young people, explained Mrs Dmitriev.

"They generally go there when they have no where else to go," she said.

Social worker Elaine Halls did not feel personally threatened by the letters, but they were a worry for residents.

Hessian had lived peaceably near the hostel for several years, said solicitor Jeremy Kendall, and originally had a good relationship with residents. Before he sent the letters he was subjected to abuse, being called "Paddy" because of his Irish nationality.

"My client is of a striking appearance and attracted attention," he said.

"He felt and still feels that a lot of people there use drugs and are anti-social, and he decided to let off some steam.

"He accepts he make threats and wanted to frighten them."

Hessian - who had a previous conviction for sending abusive mail to British Gas - was ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid community work and pay £60 costs after pleading guilty to threatening the occupants between December 2005 and 2006.

"You sent a number of extremely offensive notes threatening to blow up and cause an explosion at the hostel," said presiding magistrate Dr Christine Shaw.

"Whatever your sense of grievance, we take this very seriously.

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