Soldier who made rape threats via dating app is spared jail

A soldier who sent a string of rape threats to a woman via dating app Tinder has avoided a jail term.

Friday, 24th June 2016, 2:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:59 pm
Dundee Sheriff Court
Dundee Sheriff Court

Nathan Brown admitted sending a series of explicit, “extremely sexual” messages through the app.

Brown, who is based at the former RAF base in Leuchars, Fife, had previously spoken to the woman on Tinder.

Then, on December 9 last year, he sent her the string of messages in the early hours of the morning.

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She woke up to find “serious and graphic” threats and called in police.

The court heard Brown had previously used prostitutes, with a sheriff telling him: “You appear to have used the services of women who have been paid to accept your attentions.

“I don’t know that their reactions are good guidance as to how other women will react to your conduct.”

Fiscal depute Joanne Smith told Dundee Sheriff Court: “She became uncomfortable with the content and nature of his messages, in particular on December 9 when she woke up to a number of messages sent by him.

“The messages caused her alarm.

“At 4.27am she received a message which was extremely sexual in nature and then received a further two messages of a similar nature at 7.52am and 7.59am.

“She replied at 8am which aggravated the accused and he replied with a further message of a sexual nature at 8.15am.”

An hour later Brown sent a further message apologising for his earlier comments – wishing the woman good luck over “what she is hoping to find on Tinder”.

The woman contacted police and Brown was traced and interviewed.

Brown admitted making the comments and said he had got drunk the night before.

He told officers he had anger issues which he wanted help for and described the incident as a cry for help.

Brown (23), whose address was given as RAF Leuchars, admitted engaging in a course of conduct which caused a woman fear and alarm by contacting her by telephone and repeatedly sending her messages of a threatening and sexual nature, on December 9 last year, at an address in north-east Fife.

Solicitor William Boyle, defending, said: “The army takes a pretty rigid approach to this.

“He has his commanding officer here today and he has told me that if he was sentenced to around 100 hours unpaid work he won’t get dismissed from the service.

“If he is at liberty they will offer him support.

“But I and they do not want to try to bargain with the court.”

Sheriff Alastair Brown imposed a community payback order with 300 hours of unpaid work and placed Brown on the sex offenders register for five years.

He said: “These offences fully justify a significant prison sentence.

“You have never been in trouble before and a direct alternative to prison is available.

“For that reason and for only that reason I move away from that.”