A Bolton man has been labelled as "no Jason Bourne" after he sent himself abusive messages, posing as a witness in his own assault trial. 

William Calderley, 41, is currently set to appear at Bolton Crown Court for charges of attacking someone with a knife in a pub. 

Calderley, of Kenton Close, Halliwell, is alleged to have assaulted a man at a Bolton pub in 2020, causing grievous bodily harm.

Bolton Crown Court heard on Wednesday, November 29, that in March and May of 2022, he reported to the police that one of the witnesses in the assault case had been sending him abuse via Facebook. 

Prosecuting, Huw Edwards said: "He reported to the police that he had received threats and intimidation from the witness."  

As a result of these allegations, the assault trial was adjourned from 2022 until February 2023, and then onwards again to 2025. 

The witness was then arrested by the police following the allegations, which he denied. 

Mr Edwards added: "The police sought to find out who set up the account and which IP address it came from. 

"The results demonstrated that the account had been set up on March 3, 2022. 

"The number (linked to the account) was frequently used by the defendant, and was the same number used to call 999 regarding the threats." 

Police then contacted the phone company, seeking to verify the subscriber for that phone number. It was confirmed to be Calderley. 

Upon his arrest, Calderley denied that the messages had been sent by him to police, although did plead guilty to perverting the course of justice later on at court. 

Mr Edwards submitted to Recorder Nathan Moxon that the crime was "sophisticated and planned". 

Defending, Paul Hodgkinson said: "To describe the crime as sophisticated is perhaps a little generous. 

"It is patently obvious to anybody what the and where the origins of these messages were. 

"I have spent time with Mr Calderley this morning, and I don't wish to appear unkind.

"He is 41, has had a difficult life, he was in a car accident when he was younger, suffering frontal lobe damage.

"He has suffered mental health issues as a result. You can conclude the difficulties he faces have a direct effect on culpability. 

"He is no Jason Bourne, no sophisticated criminal. He is a criminal, with previous convictions, but borne out of naivety and foolishness, not a criminal mastermind." 

He added: "He lives alone, has had difficulties throughout life, he is a drug user. He presents as a pathetic individual rather than a menacing criminal. 

"He would benefit from intervention from the probation service. It is borne out of ignorance rather than sophisticated maliciousness." 

Concluding, Recorder Moxon said: "You are 41 with 12 convictions from 20 offences, much of which are violence and criminal damage. 

"You are due to stand trial for a section 18 assault, that trial is now listed for February 2025. The alleged assault occurred in 2020.

"You set up a Facebook account posing as (the witness). It was sophisticated, albeit your sophistication knows limits, as you used your own mobile number to set up the account. 

"Section 18 wounding with intent, the use of a knife is a serious offence, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment." 

He added: "You delayed the course of justice, the trial date was set for May 2022, it was adjourned until February 2023 and then adjourned until February 2025, almost three years later." 

Calderley was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment.