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Poker 'massacre' man sent to prison

A man who threatened to slaughter staff at a Douglas-based eGaming company has been jailed for three months, at Teesside Crown Court.

Michael Gallagher of Redcar, East Cleveland sent a threatening email to the firm after running up £19,000 of losses playing online poker.

He demanded more than £30,000 in the message, which said he would travel to the Island and kill as many members of staff as possible.

The 35-year-old admitted the offence under the United Kingdom's Malicious Communications Act, after a charge of blackmail against him was dropped.

Recorder of Middlesbrough Judge Peter Fox said he was surprised Gallagher hadn't been charged with blackmail, which carries a maximum jail term of 14 years.

The court heard unemployed Gallagher claimed to have planned the massacre for six months and said he would gladly take a life sentence for it.

The next day he sent another email apologising and claiming he had been drunk, but the company reported the incident to police and he was arrested the next day.

Judge Fox told him being drunk was no excuse for his crime.

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