A MAN has avoided jail for threatening to kill a woman at a nursery.

Reese Steels, 29, of Broadgate Lane, in Horsforth, was sentenced for making threats to kill and harassment - put in fear of violence, at Scarborough Justice Centre last Thursday.

He indicated guilty pleas to both offences at an earlier hearing.

Steels made a threat to kill a woman, with the intention of her fearing it would actually happen, at a nursery in North Yorkshire on April 26 last year, according to court records.

The 29-year-old also repeatedly sent her unwanted threatening messages on that date too.

Court records said this was a "serious offence committed in a domestic violence context".

The magistrates handed Steels a 26-month prison sentence, suspended for a year - 26 months for the threats to kill offence and eight months to run concurrently for the harassment offence.

Court records show the magistrates decided to suspend the sentence because Steels had "strong personal mitigation".

This included the time lapse between the offence date and sentencing date which has not resulted in any further criminal proceedings, and a "realistic prospect of rehabilitation".

A three-year restraining order was imposed, banning Steels from contacting the woman directly or indirectly, unless through a named person under specific circumstances.

Steels must also undergo drug rehabilitation, providing samples for six months, and complete up to 15 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) days.

The court ordered Steels to pay £239 in total, which includes £85 in costs and a surcharge of £154 to fund victim services.