Isle of Wight man Christopher Cooknell, who has been jailed for three years for fraud and making threats to kill. Picture courtesy of Essex Police.
A SECURITY worker from the Isle of Wight who sent anonymous death threats to his employer and his family has been jailed for three years.
Christopher Cooknell, 54, of Wootton Bridge, was part of a private security team employed by Daniel Holloway at his family estate in Brentwood, Essex.
They employed private security after an aggravated burglary in 2009 and in December 2012 they were left fearing they were about to be targeted again after they received text messages making death threats.
The family stepped up security, promoting Cooknell and giving him a pay rise, an Essex police spokesman said.
A police investigation revealed however that the messages had been sent from a phone linked to Cooknell and he was arrested.
He admitted sending the texts, but claimed it was a prank.
The investigation then found Cooknell was behind an anonymous letter sent to the family in August 2011, which implicated the family’s gardeners in the 2009 burglary and implied a gunpoint burglary was now being planned.
"This was a complete fabrication by Cooknell and not only did it increase his security hours, it resulted in the innocent gardeners being arrested and investigated by police," the spokesman said.
Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Lucy Robinson said: "Christopher Cooknell is a dangerous man in that he fails to fully comprehend the implications of his actions. He has caused a great deal of suffering to the victim and his family by sending distressing text messages and his actions have also resulted in two innocent men being arrested for no reason.
"His motivation appears to be entirely for selfish financial gain and I have no doubt that had his text messages been allowed to continue he would have become increasingly greedy and sought to demand money from Mr Holloway.
"Thankfully it never came to this, but I hope his sentence today reflects the seriousness of his actions."
Cooknell, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to making threats to kill and fraud, and was jailed at Basildon Crown Court on Monday.