Ronald McElwee was sentenced today, Friday 9th June, following an investigation into improper use of electronic communications.

The 29-year-old, appearing before Londonderry Magistrates’ Court, was sentenced to 4 months' imprisonment, suspended for 3 years. A restraining order under The Protection from Harassment (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 was also imposed to protect the victims.

Detectives from the Police Service’s Terrorism Investigation Unit carried out an investigation following reports of an email sent by McElwee to two elected representatives. Both recipients, who received the same email, perceived the content to be of a sinister and threatening nature.

McElwee’s message essentially sought support, from the elected representatives, for the release of a prisoner who was serving a sentence for terrorism-related offences.

Detective Inspector McCallum said: “Police were notified of the emails on 21st June 2022.  McElwee was arrested on suspicion of two counts of improper use of a public electronic communications network. He was later released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service, who subsequently made a decision to prosecute.

“I want to assure everyone – all members of the public – that we take crime of this nature extremely seriously. Such actions, without doubt, cause unacceptable distress to all concerned.  If you are the victim of similar, or indeed of any crime, please contact police on 101, or in an emergency call 999.”

 Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at