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Manchester man sentenced for threatening to kill Derry judge
Gregory Gifford listens to Judge Paul Moore at his sentencing Friday in Rockingham County Superior Court. Gifford was convicted of making death threats against Moore when he was a family court judge in Derry. (JASON SCHREIBER/Union Leader Correspondent)
Rockingham County Superior Court Judge Kenneth McHugh handed down the sentence Friday after Gregory Gifford begged for forgiveness and Judge Paul Moore recalled how the death threats placed him and his family in fear.
"I don't believe that as you sit here today that you have that ability, not based upon your past history, not based upon what I've seen in court … I see somebody who is still very, very angry and has substance abuse issues that you haven't addressed," he said.
In one of the e-mails, Gifford wrote, "Judge Moore is a dead man for kidnapping my son without due process."
He also sent messages to Gov. John Lynch's Office of Citizen Services, including one that read, "I am going to start killing people. Ask Judge Moore how many people have to die before I get my due process."
At Friday's sentencing, Moore told Gifford that he never wanted to deprive him of his son and that the focus of the court proceedings was on making sure the boy was in a stable environment and had the necessary clothing, food and shelter.
Gifford, who blamed the family member for taking his son away, admitted that he has anger issues but insisted that he's not a threat.
Gifford told the court that he has "no violence" in his past and has "never raised a weapon to anyone."
Gifford said he would get the counseling he needs and asked for the court to give him another chance.
"My son is four years old. I've never heard him speak," he said.
"We just cannot operate as a society if we have to worry about death threats and that's why we take these cases so seriously," he said.
McHugh described Gifford as an explosive father who has shown no sign of apologizing until his sentencing hearing."There is no indication that this gentleman gets it," McHugh said.
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