A FATHER who made abusive phone calls to social workers, threatening to kill them, has appeared in court charged with harassment.

Christopher Bowden, 42, of Leed Street, Sandown, admitted the charge when he appeared at the Isle of Wight Magistrates Court.

The court heard he called children's services 17 times in less than an hour. He even used two phones at once, blocking the phone line.

Ann Smout, prosecuting, said: "The social workers at the department had previously struggled with Mr Bowden becoming abusive during calls.

"On September 16, he told one member of staff he was going to kill them and said they had better 'watch their backs.'

"On that day, between 1.13pm and 2.05pm, he called the service as many as 17 times before the calls were terminated for being too abusive.

"At one stage he used two mobile phones to call the service at the same time, effectively blocking two phone lines from being used by other members of the public.

"One member of the service told me this was one of the most aggressive and abusive calls she had heard in years.

"People working for children's services are working to safeguard and protect children, and they do not deserve any kind of abuse."

Bowden, who defended himself, told the court: "There is basically no point in trying to communicate with child services.

"Whenever I called, the social worker I wanted to speak to was never available. What was I supposed to do?"

Magistrates gave Bowden a 12-month community order, including 25 rehabilitation activity days and 240 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a surcharge of £90.

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