Kent: Arsonist Sentenced For Making Threats To Victims

A man who was convicted of arson has been sentenced to serve an indeterminate sentence for public protection with an increased minimum tariff of ten-and-a-half-years after being found guilty of making threats to kill his victims.

Leroy Brown, 36, formerly of Hanwell, West London was sentenced to a minimum prison sentence of eight-and-a-half-years in June 2012 after being convicted of blackmail and five counts of arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered.

Within weeks of being sentenced, Brown's arson victims began to receive death threats. These were sent through the post and were received by a woman in Gillingham and a woman in Rainham.

An investigation ensued and a search Brown?s cell and work area at HMP Elmley was carried out with prison officers seizing a letter similar to those received by the victims. The following day another letter was received by the woman in Rainham.

Brown was arrested on 31 July 2012 but protested his innocence. The threats stopped but in October 2012 the husband of the woman from Rainham received another threatening letter. The Rainham woman and the husband of the Gillingham victim subsequently both received further post from Brown.
Following this, on 17 October Brown was moved from HMP Elmley to HMP Garth in Lancashire.

On 26 October, the Gillingham man received a final threatening letter. Brown was arrested in connection with the letters on 29 November and lengthy enquiries were conducted.

On 22 April 2013 Brown was charged with six offences of making threats to kill, two counts of witness revenge and two counts of harassment.

On Monday 11 November 2013, Brown was convicted at Maidstone Crown Court for the six counts of making threats to kill. The other offences will lie on file.

Trial judge, His Honour St John-Stevens sentenced Brown to three-years imprisonment concurrent on each of the first three threats to kill, and to four-years concurrent on each of the latter three threats to kill. This sentence to be served consecutive to Brown?s original sentence increasing his minimum term of imprisonment to ten-and-a-half-years.

The officer in charge of the case, Detective Constable Wayne Totterdell of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "Brown protested his innocence throughout the investigation, claiming others had conspired against him or that a copycat was responsible for the threatening letters.

"Of course we knew this was not the case and worked closely with the prison service to gather enough evidence to secure a successful conviction. The prison service has worked hand-in-hand with detectives on this case in order to see justice served."