A freelance court reporter claims he is being targeted in a long-running campaign of intimidation.
Jason Roberts revealed how the harassment against him culminated last week in a package containing heroin being sent to him in the post.
He told iomtoday: ’It didn’t really sink in until the next day just how serious this could have been.
’I’ve been threatened outside court before so for me it was another day in the office. That’s what happens.
’If I had signed for the package and not called police straightaway it could have been a very different matter.’
The brown A5-sized package, with a UK postmark and stamp and addressed to Jason Alan Roberts, arrived on Thursday last week at the Miller’s T’Ale micropub in Peel where Jason is licensee and manager.
When it was opened, it was found to contain a small quantity of brown powder wrapped in zip lock bags, bubble wrap and cardboard.
Police were immediately informed, and a short time later an officer arrived to take possession of the package and take witness statements from both of the pub’s designated officials.
Tests on the contents of the package have confirmed it to be the class A drug heroin.
Mr Roberts, 49, said a campaign of intimidation has been directed towards him over the last two years.
He said has been threatened inside a courtroom by a man awaiting sentence for using threatening behaviour, who told him ’I’ll be seeing you later and we’ll be having a conversation’.
The same man later physically blocked access to the courtroom and was reported to court authorities after repeating his threat.
In other incidents, a man convicted of drugs offences became so physically and verbally aggressive court security staff called police.
The man was given a warning by officers.
And a man accused of assault threatened Jason in a pub in Peel saying ’It’s a small island, I’ll find you’.
The incident was reported to police, who warned him about his behaviour.
Mr Roberts said that having what’s thought to be drugs sent to him was an escalation of the harassment and is being treated seriously by police.
Neither he nor the other designated official are being treated as suspects, and officers did not raid the bar or arrest anybody.
Comments on social media claiming he had been arrested will be forwarded to police, as that was evidently the goal of whoever sent the package.
Mr Roberts said: ’While it’s understandable people may not wish their court cases to be publicised, the courts are open to the public and anything said during a case may be reported - subject to certain legal constraints.
’Court reports have appeared in the media for hundreds of years, and it is completely unacceptable that a journalist carrying out their lawful business should be targeted in this way.’
He said the incident has caused great distress to the other designated official, who is also the owner of the family business.
Superintendent Stephen Maddocks confirmed the brown powder had been tested positive for the class A drug heroin.
He said: ’Police are investigating a small amount of class A drugs that have been sent to an address in the west of the island.
’We are not classing Mr Roberts as a suspect at this time.
’We are keeping an open mind at this moment about exactly how and why these drugs were sent to this address and no arrests have been made.
’Anyone who has information regarding this matter can call police headquarters on 631212 or the anonymous Crimestoppers line 0800 555 111.’