A FORMER soldier has been handed a restraining order after making threats to kill his ex-girlfriend and burn her house down after he saw a Facebook picture she posted of herself with a new man.

Matthew Brickley, 42, told his former partner over voice notes and text messages that she’d “f****d with the wrong human” and called her “a rat”. He said he would be waiting for her at her place of work, while in one voice message he said ‘I’ll kill, kill, kill, kill’.”

Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court heard this week that Brickley, an ex-military man who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, had been drinking heavily following the end of a seven-year relationship and was ashamed of his behaviour.

He had previously admitted one charge of sending an electronic communication of an indecent or offensive nature to his victim on June 18 last year.


Prosecutor James Sprunks said the victim received the messages in the early hours of the morning. Brickley contacted his ex after he had seen a picture of her with her new partner on Facebook the previous day.

“The messages came thick and fast; he was shouting and screaming abuse,” said Mr Sprunks.

“He told her ‘you’ve f****d with the wrong human’ and said she’d be sorry. He called her a rat and said he would be waiting for her at her place of work.

“He told her ‘I’ll go to prison for life for you’, ‘I’ll burn your house’, while in one voice message he said ‘I’ll kill, kill, kill, kill’.”

Police arrested Brickley at his Bridge Street home, in Brecon, the following day. Mr Sprunks said the victim has requested a restraining order.

Geraint Parry, representing Brickley, said his client fully accepted the case against him.

“It was a difficult time for him,” said Mr Parry.

“He had recently lost his mum, the relationship broke down and he had been drinking. He doesn’t remember sending the messages. He regrets sending them and is remorseful.

“He has not been in trouble prior to this for 20 years. He served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland. He was discharged on medical grounds, and has since suffered with PTSD.

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“He has been seeking help from Help for Heroes. He is volunteering with blind veterans in Brecon and has been working with Kaleidoscope (drug and alcohol organisation).”

Probation officer Donna Davies said Brickley suffered from “extensive” mental health issues and would not be suitable to complete unpaid work.

Ingrid Gallagher, chair of the bench, told Brickley: “The messages you sent were horrendous. We found this appalling.”

Magistrates handed him a 12-month community order which will include completing 15 rehabilitation activity days.

He was fined £120 and told to pay a £114 surcharge and £85 costs.

They granted the restraining order, which will last for 12 months. Brickley is not to contact the victim via any means, he must not attend her home address or place of work, and he must enter no information about her on social media.