Gareth Wills, of Mylor Downs near Falmouth, was spared jail in August but was made subject of a restraining order preventing him from contacting any employees or directors of the estate agency he co-foundered or going to their offices or making social media videos about the company.
But on leaving court, Wills, in breach of the restraining order, recorded a video posted to TikTok and Instagram right outside court in which he discussed the case, said he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice and stated he would be pursuing the money be said was owed to him by Lewis Haughton Wills.
Wills was ordered to reappear in court in early last month after Judge Robert Linford became aware of the video and comment.
Addressing Wills, Judge Linford outlined Wills’ breach of the order and demanded “blind and unquestionable obedience” from now on before warning him any further breach would mean 20 months in prison.
Wills recorded a series of videos during which he threatened to kill his fellow directors if they did not pay him the money he believed he was owed.
Gareth Wills – a founder of the estate agency side of Lewis Haughton Wills, which has branches in Falmouth, Penryn and Truro – also insulted his former colleagues in the videos posted on social media.
During one video, Wills called director Paula Haughton an imp and fellow director Mark Lewis ‘a fat little dwarf’.
Wills was also charged with threatening to cut off the head of Haughton and hold her family at gunpoint and cut Sophie Lang into pieces.
Wills was arrested on 30 September after being accused of breaching a number of orders made by the courts within days of them being made.
Representing Wills, Robin Smith said: “He blames nobody but himself. This is his first period in prison and he’s had time to reflect. The references show a different side to Mr Wills.
“This has been a somewhat gigantic descent into crisis. Until mid to late 2019 everything in this man’s garden was very rosy. He was happily married, had a nice house and two young boys.”
Smith went on to explain that Wills was diagnosed with adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but during the first lockdown he had difficulty maintaining his medication. He added that his wife left him and contact with his children stopped.
Smith commented: “This drove him deep into the abyss and when his behaviour at work deteriorated he was suspended by fellow directors. He was a 40% owner and civil litigation as far as compensation is ongoing.
“He appreciates he must and will come off all social media. He is clearly a man who cannot resist temptation and has to take drastic action.
“The latest offences are not direct threats to the business. They were rants out of pure frustration. The contact with his ex-wife was wishing her good luck in the London Marathon and a happy birthday. It wasn’t threatening contact.
“He hopes to emerge from custody more clear headed. He is in the process of setting up three businesses and is desperate to get out.”
Sentencing Wills, Judge Carr, said: “Until 2019 you were a successful businessman and a director of an estate agency who was happily married with young children. The problems of the lockdown in 2020 were far greater for those already suffering with mental health difficulties.
“This all started the chain of offending that brings you before me today. This is a significant feature in this case but does not excuse what you did. If this was a single breach one would have sympathy, but we are very far from that.”
Judge Carr then recapped Wills’ ranting offending saying he showed a complete contempt for the orders put in place to protect his former colleagues and his ex-wife, adding that he believed the rules did not apply to him. Judge Carr noted that there was evidence that Wills – who he described as a valued member of society when not obsessed – had continued the behaviour in prison.