THE former director of a successful lettings company made threats of violence against his ex colleagues in videos and texts.

Gareth Davyd Wills, a former director and a founder of Lewis Haughton Wills, appeared at Truro Crown Court on Tuesday for sentencing.

The 42-year-old, of Mylor Downs, pleaded guilty to two charges of sending a letter/electronic communication/article with intent to cause distress or anxiety to his former partners and employees, and was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for two years for each charge, to run concurrently, and made the subject of a five-year restraining order.

He had also previously pleaded not guilty to a charge of threatening to destroy or damage property, which when read out at magistrates' court alleged that he threatened to firebomb the offices of Lewis Haughton Wills lettings agents in Falmouth. This count was allowed to lie on file.

The court was told that in a series of videos and texts he made threats of violence against his former business partners.

In one of the videos posted by Wills, in a transcript read out by the prosecution, the former partner called for his ex-partners to pay him the money he said he was owed after he had left the company.

In it he said the police would need to protect two of the directors from him as he was going to "explode" with anger.

He said: "Pay me my f****ing money or pay the consequences. Give me my f****ing money because I am as hard as the f****ing day is long, I'm f****ing hard. I'd love to fill a load of people in, I'd love to fill loads of people in and I'd love to fill you in.

"I'd love to fill loads of people in because I am angry. People say I need to go to anger management class, no I don't. I need to get paid what I am f****ing owed.

"Pay me my money you f****ing bastards and I'll be the happiest man alive. The best f****ing Gareth you'll ever see in your life. But what you've got is someone who is f****ing angry. So this is for the police as well. You better f****ing get people on them, you better get police on [named person] and [named person] you better get to safety people, get police officers around their houses, because I am telling you, f****ing hell, if you don't pay me my money soon I am going to react and explode. They've got the money in that business to pay me what I want."

He ended the video saying "Pay me my money, you f****ing c**ts!"

The prosecution said this incident had had a very marked and profound impact on the two people subjected to the threats.

One was said to have experienced genuine fear of the threats Wills had made and it had a significant impact on her physical and mental health. She was reluctant to go out and avoided areas deliberately in order to avoid Wills, and it had impacted on her sleep. She suffered from anxiety and panic attacks, for which she received medication.

His defence barrister said Wills was aware the videos and texts were completely unacceptable.

He told the court that this once very successful letting agency did become the subject of a very, very acrimonious breakdown.

It was established by the three directors, including Wills, about 13 years ago. For the first eight to ten years the company was very successful.

"Everybody was working very harmoniously together and all was well," said the defence.

"But he did start to descend into the abyss of alcohol and mainly cocaine, exacerbated by his recent diagnosis of ADHD in 2017."

He said civil litigation was about to start between the company and Wills over the money he says he is owed. He said Wills was making efforts to address his drug taking but admitted to Judge Linford that his client was still taking cocaine and had no great desire to change.

Sentencing Wills, Judge Robert Linford said Wills had been in business for some period of time as a letting agent but became involved in a dispute with others involved in that business.

"Things deteriorated in that you embarked on a campaign which was designed to upset distress and cause anxiety to [two named people]," he said.

He said one had expressed some sympathy for his position, putting it down to mental health and drug misuse.

"I have seen these communications and it is utterly hateful material in terms of emails and video messages, which were designed to do exactly what they did do," said Judge Linford.

He said a traumatic background may have contributed to what had happened.

He said custody could be justified, but it would be a suspended sentence despite it being very serious offending.

As well as the suspended sentence Wills was also ordered to complete 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days under a 12-month community order.

The restraining order is that he not enter 61 Church Street in Falmouth, Agent 1 in Lemon Street, Truro nor the first floor of St Mary's House, Commercial Road, Penryn.

It also states he must not contact directly or indirectly any employee or director of Lewis Haughton Wills, save for the purposes of ongoing litigation, save through solicitors instructed within civil proceedings relating to Lewis Haughton Wills. He was also ordered to pay £500 compensation to each complainant.

Judge Linford also specified that he should not post comments or videos on any social media platform about Lewis Haughton Wills, its directors or its employees, for a period of five years.