A MAN who blackmailed a Flintshire businessman has been sent to prison for 16 months.

Peter John McKay threatened to “saw off the legs” of his former employer, Gerard Hall, if he did not pay him £2,000 that he thought was owed to him as wages. He also hinted he had met a Mafia boss who “could do him a favour”, Mold Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Matthew Curtis said McKay was dismissed following his reaction to being spoken to about his work at Overwrought Engineering in Sandycroft, where he was employed from July to October 2017.

McKay told his employer to “shove your job up your arse”, but then had a change of heart and messaged Mr Hall to ask for his job back. When he got nowhere he turned to messaging a series of threats.

Among those received by Mr Hall was one in which McKay claimed he had “bumped” into a Mafia boss in a pub in Oxton, Wirral, who hinted “at doing him a favour”.

Another message declared: “F…k ACAS and HMRC… I am gonna smash both you’re knee caps”, while another suggested Mr Hall should keep a claw hammer to hand because “he was coming for his £2,000”.

He also sent a picture of a knife with a message stating: “Am gonna saw both your legs off. You have 12 hours.

“I have mates here from the rigs. You won’t be going home after work.”

McKay, 61 of Holt Road, Tranmere, Birkenhead, admitted making an unwarranted demand for £2,000 with menaces between October and December of last year.

He said he acted in the mistaken belief that he was entitled to the money in salary payments.

The court heard McKay believed he had not been paid as much as he had expected and only received £89.

He said he had been drinking and sent “horrible” texts as he was concerned about being evicted and thought they would make Mr Hall pay him.

He accepted he was threatening and said he was trying to do anything to get paid by “making stuff up to scare him into paying me”.

“Obviously not very nice at all, but what he’s done to me is worse, and that threatening texts are not as bad as eviction,” he told police.

He was ordered not to have any contact with his victim for at least five years.