Boozy threats | 

Man (53) who threatened to shoot couple and their dog says he was just ‘blootered’

“But I never meant it. I was completely blootered,” Robert James Gilfillan told the Sunday World.

Robert Gilfillan

Robert Gilfillan, threatened to put a bullet in the heads of a man, woman and their pet dog.


Jonathan Carson-Bryce and Hannah O'Boyle

Steven MooreSunday World

This is the drunken loon who threatened to “put a bullet in the heads” of a man, his girlfriend and their beloved pet dog.

Robert James Gilfillan escaped going to jail after admitting charges at Ballymena Magistrates Court this week of harassment and improper use of a public electronics communications network, as reported in Court News NI.

The 53-year-old, of Limavallaghan Road, Clough, Co Antrim, was given a four-month jail term, suspended for two years, while a two-year Restraining Order was also put in place.

Father-of-two Gilfillan had threatened his former friend and drinking pal Jonathan Carson-Bryce, his partner Hannah O’Boyle and the couple’s cherished pet dog, Matilda.

Mr Carson-Bryce had recorded the threatening phone call and immediately called police.

When confronted by the Sunday World this week at his remote home, Gilfillan told us he was “blootered” when he made the call.

“This whole thing is nonsense,” he said. “I was friends with them. I used to go drinking with Johnny but we fell out.”


Gilfillan went on to make a number of unsubstantiated claims in defence of his shocking actions, which can’t be repeated here.

“Johnny used to give me a hard time and I told him I was going to go to the police about him. The next thing I know is he waited until I was drunk and he called me and I admit I said those things, I threatened him.

“But I never meant it. I was completely blootered.

“I had a clean criminal record and wouldn’t hurt anyone. I certainly wouldn’t shoot anyone, especially not his girlfriend or his dog.

“I loved that dog, there’s no way I would ever hurt it. I was just angry with Johnny. Angry and drunk and I’m embarrassed at what I said.

“When I heard the tape of what I said I was completely embarrassed. It’s an embarrassing situation but it’s all nonsense.

“It was just drunk ramblings. There was nothing in it. If the police had believed there was they would have done me for making threats to kill but they didn’t. It was just harassment.”

Robert Gilfillan, threatened to put a bullet in the heads of a man, woman and their pet dog.

Gilfillan pleaded guilty to harassing Mr Carson-Bryce, persistent improper use of a public electronic communications network to cause anxiety and annoyance, and finally improper use of electronic communication device by sending a message of a menacing character.

Ballymena Court heard comments were made during a phone call, a recording of which was made on August 19 this year, and the details were given to police.

A defence barrister said at the time of the incident the defendant had been “totally intoxicated”.

The court heard the defendant is “devoted to his wife” who is “very ill” and he is a registered carer.

The lawyer added: “As part of that he had been using cannabis to alleviate some of her symptoms”.

He said there had been contact between Gilfillan and the complainant and a “dispute arose regarding drug purchases”.

The court was told the defendant spends his days looking after his wife and restoring old cars.

Jonathan Carson-Bryce and Hannah O'Boyle

District Judge Nigel Broderick said: “This would have been an extremely worrying situation, to say the least, for the victims to get this message that you are going to put a bullet in them, very sinister”.

Gilfillan told the Sunday World he planned to make a complaint to the court about what was said about him during the sentence hearing.

“The court stated I had a previous criminal record but that’s not true. I had been convicted in 2012 of having two illegal Viagra tablets and being unfit to drive.”

“I was fined £250 but I appealed that and won and the PPS gave me my money back and the conviction didn’t stand.

“The police did me for being unfit because I had the two illegal Viagra tablets in the car. So because they weren’t from my doctor they did me.

“But I had that overturned on appeal so the court shouldn’t have said that.”

He added: “I have a clean record, at least I did until now. I’m glad this is all over. I didn’t think I’d go to jail for something so stupid but I couldn’t be sure.” The court ordered that Gilfillan is “forbidden to use or threaten violence against Jonathan Bryce and Hannah O’Boyle and must not instruct/encourage or, in any way, suggest that any other person should do so”.

The judge also ordered that Gilfillan is “forbidden to intimidate, harass or pester Jonathan Bryce and Hannah O’Boyle and must not instruct, encourage or, in any way, suggest that any other person should do so”.

He was to have “no contact directly or indirectly with the injured parties”.

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