Player who threatened to kill poker site staff jailed
Monday, 17 October 2011
Last month we brought you details of a very strange case of a drunken poker player threatening to kill staff at an online site if his losses weren't refunded.
The man who sent the offending email, Michael Gallagher from Redcar, has been jailed for three months in what the judge described as the worst imaginable case if its kind. Gallagher lost almost $30,000 on the unnamed, but Isle of Man based site, and subsequently sent an email demanding £50,000 to cover his losses. If he didn't receive appropriate recompense he said he would visit the site HQ with a shotgun and kill as many people as he could.
According to the Darlington and Stockton Times, Gallagher emailed, “I hope you take me seriously because I swear to God I’m going to do it. I will have my vengeance. I have planned this for six months. It’s what makes me sleep a night.
“Drifting off to sleep, thinking about what I am going to do, knowing full well that the butchering I do will get you exposed for what you are... I will gladly take a life sentence for that. Believe me, it will be my finest hour... $50,000 in my account, or believe me, you will all be dead.”
Customer services staff understandably took the threat seriously and informed the police.
Gallagher sent a further email a day later apologising for his conduct saying that he had no intention of carrying out his threats, blaming excess alcohol for his initial email. That apology cut no ice with police though who arrested Gallagher and initially charged him with blackmail. The blackmail charge was dropped with the 35-year-old admitting the lesser offence of sending an electronic communication conveying a threat.
The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Peter Fox, gave Gallagher a three-month prison sentence adding, “It is no excuse, at all, that you were affected by drink.”