Bradford thug threatened to shoot partner’s family in terrifying spree
A man held a gun to his girlfriend’s mother’s mouth after he threatened to share intimate photos of her daughter. Jordan Ratcliffe, 22, was in a “toxic” relationship which “bore all of the hallmarks of a contolling and coercive” one when he turned violent against his girlfriend’s mother and brother. In an incident outside his home in Southmere Crescent, Bradford, Ratcliffe pulled a gun on the woman’s relatives as they tried to intervene when he threatened to send the images of her to a social media chat.
: Foolish juror who caused collapse of child sex abuse trial worked for award-winning Yorkshire law firm Prosecuting, Roger Brown, told Bradford Crown Court on Friday that the couple had been together since April 2018, and Ratcliffe soon became controlling. He said: “It was not an idyllic relationship because at that stage he was trying to control her, and who she was with.
He would question her about boys at college and the chat group they were in. “He asked her who had added her on social media, who had been messaging her and who she sat next to while at college. She thought his behaviour was just a phase because things began to get better.”
He was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court
By January 2019, when the woman had got a job in engineering, Ratcliffe began asking to see her phone.
In June the same year, he was sentenced to five weeks in a young offenders’ institution for dangerous driving. While in custody, the woman visited Ratcliffe and would phone him and he would ask who she was with. Mr Brown said that following his release on August 7, 2020, Ratcliffe began sending his partner messages, threatening to publish intimate photographs of her in a group chat unless she went to see him.
He told the court: “He targeted a friend of hers who was a boy and said, ‘If anyone comes near her I’ll stab you.’
“At around 11.55pm, the defendant sent a message to her and said, ‘Come see me, come now.’ As a result she contacted her brother and he arranged to go to the defendant’s address and she arranged to be taken by a friend.” As the girl’s brother arrived at Ratcliffe’s house with their mother, he was seen to be stood near a van. Mr Brown said the girl’s mum approached Ratcliffe to ask what was going on, in relation to his threats to release the pictures, and he held a rifle to her lips.
Mr Brown said: “She backed off and started running towards her son’s car, shouting that he had a gun. He followed her and with that her brother got out of his car and his mum told him to get back into it because he had a gun.
It happened in Southmere Crescent (Image: Google Maps)
“He got back in and the defendant approached the car and went towards the driver’s window, which was open and threatened to shoot them both. He stuck the barrel of the gun through the window and said, ‘I’ll f****** shoot you too.'”
The man managed to drive away and the incident was witnessed by his sister, who had arrived at the scene. Ratcliffe left the area and was found by police after the girl had located him using a phone app. When he was located, Ratcliffe was found to be in possession of a knuckle duster.
The rifle was recovered from his garden by his father.
The court heard Ratcliffe denied all three offences at first but pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon (the knuckleduster) between a plea, trial preparation hearing and the day of trial, and then to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of harm on the day of trial. In a victim impact statement, Ratcliffe’s former partner said she felt she had no choice but to see him on the night of the incident, due to his threats to release the intimate pictures. In her statement, she said: “I felt betrayed and scared and had no other choice.
That is why my brother and mum went as I was too scared to drive. I have nightmares and flashbacks and suffer with anxiety. It has taken me a long time to start healing and I have a long way to go.”
In her statement, the girl’s mother said she too suffers with anxiety and sleepless nights. She said: “I have flashbacks. I feel very anxious when my family goes places, thinking something bad is going to happen to them.
He took every ounce of me that night. To see the fear in my children’s eyes will never leave me.
“As a parent, you’re supposed to protect your children. He took that away from me and for that I won’t forgive or forget.”
Mitigating, Paul Canfield, told the court Ratcliffe lives with schizophrenia, and suffers with paranoia and hearing voices as a result. He added that he was not engaging with services at the time of the incident and said: “It led to depression and anxiety and loss of motivation and he turned to self-harm. “He resisted those voices that were guiding him to do bad things.
He started taking medication in 2021 and the voices became less persistent.”
The court heard Ratcliffe is now in a stable relationship, and he was supported by his current partner who was in court during the sentencing hearing. Ratcliffe was jailed for 32 months and made the subject of a 10-year restraining order against his three victims. His Honour Judge Andrew Hatton said the relationship between Ratcliffe and his former partner bore “all of the hallmarks of a controlling and coercive relationship.”
He told Ratcliffe: “There was a strong background of coercive and controlling behaviour on your part. You are entitled to credit for your plea of guilty on the day of trial, but that allowed the anxiety of your victims to continue to that day which I see as another feature of your controlling behaviour.” Ratcliffe will serve up to half of his sentence in custody before being released on licence in the community.