Herne Bay biker threatened to beat man with dog carcass in WhatsApp row over exhaust pipe

A one-eyed biker warned his former friend that he would kill his dog and then hit him in the head with the carcass.

Damian Dennis Barlow, 46, from Herne Bay, made the vile comments to Michael Sheehan ahead of a planned brawl between the two men at the city’s famous clock tower.

Damian Barlow, from Herne Bay, pictured outside the courtroom

Although the pair had been lifelong friends and friends, a court heard they had argued over an exhaust pipe repair – and that Barlow had subsequently sent vindictive WhatsApp messages.

Prosecuting, Dylan Bradshaw read out messages the South Road resident sent to Mr Sheehan on November 26, 2022.

“You told my family you were going to stab me in the throat and put out my other eye,” Mr Bradshaw quoted Barlow’s messages as saying.

“The next time I see your face, I will break your dog’s neck and beat you with the carcass.

“Bring your rat, your dog, your pig and you should insure them all.

“Don’t let me down because there are a lot of people who want to see this, so don’t act like an idiot and don’t show up again – you’re the butt of every biker joke at the moment. ”

Damian Dennis Barlow, from Herne Bay, planned a brawl at the city's famous clock tower.  Image: GoogleDamian Dennis Barlow, from Herne Bay, planned a brawl at the city’s famous clock tower. Image: Google

Mr. Bradshaw himself noted, “Some of the messages don’t make much sense.”

He then continued to recite Barlow’s messages: “I think it’s a funny rat dog, a chicken and a pig. You better get a tracker installed that I can find at the bottom of a fucking melting river.”

“You’re going to prove to the entire biker gang that you’re the biggest landwalker.”

Barlow appeared at Margate Magistrates Court on Wednesday wearing beige chinos and a brown leather jacket over a black hoodie.

The bench allowed him to sit in a chair behind his lawyer, Alan Balneaves, rather than in the dock.

“I asked him to smile, but I think he probably looks worse when he smiles…”

Barlow pleaded guilty to sending a threatening message.

“My client says he needs to say what’s on his mind, but he knows that’s not always the best thing to do,” Mr Balneaves said.

“Like a little dog, he probably barks a lot more than necessary, but deep down he’s a nice guy who loves motorcycles more than people – part of their argument is over, of all things, an exhaust pipe.

“And he might look a little rough and ready. I asked him to smile, but I think he probably looks worse when he smiles.

“What you can’t miss is that he only has one eye. He was involved in an incident where someone stepped on his eye and now he is partially blind.”

Mr Balneaves further explained that Barlow sent the offensive messages because he was sensitive about the apple of his last eye.

“Sticks and stones don’t bother him, but what bothers him is the loss of that eye,” he argued.

“He can’t talk very well. I think there are some mental health issues too. The dog he is referring to is a dog that he himself raised with Mr. Sheehan and that he knew from an early age.”

The trial took place at Margate Magistrates' CourtThe trial took place at Margate Magistrates’ Court

The lawyer told the bank that his client regretted the news and that he wanted to “bury the hatchet.”

“I will be proposing a conditional discharge and an injunction and that everyone sort out their own bikes, go their own way and look after their own dogs,” Mr Balneaves added.

The judges then retreated briefly to consider their verdict.

“We have taken into account the admission of guilt, albeit on the day of trial,” said jury chairman David Graeme.

“For this offense there will be a conditional discharge for a period of 12 months. Therefore, there will be no punishment today, but if you commit another crime, you will be tried and sentenced again, this time.

“There will also be a 12-month restraining order if there is no direct or indirect contact between you and Michael Sheehan.”

Barlow was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £26.

He appeared upset when the fines were announced but agreed full payment would be made within 56 days.

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