A man who threatened to execute a shooting spree across Shepparton has escaped a prison sentence.
Shepparton man Kitt Williams, 21, was sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order after he pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to harass or menace.
Williams this year sent threatening Facebook messages to The News and Shepparton High School, warning he would shoot up the town’s police station, courthouse and The News.
The court heard that Williams had made the threats after drinking ‘‘a few beers’’ on February 11.
After midnight that evening, police alleged Mr Williams sent his first few messages to the Facebook page of The News, warning he had a gun and he would go on a massacre in a few days’ time.
He allegedly sent further messages that said: ‘‘I’ve loaded the gun already, you better take it seriously or I’ll blow you all away.’’
In a court appearance this year, Williams appeared to smile or laugh as several of the key details were read out, which prompted a warning from Magistrate Ian Watkins.
The court also heard he suffered from an intellectual disability and his family had a history of autism and ADHD.
Accompanied by what appeared to be two friends, Williams was sentenced at the Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
During Williams’ community corrections order, he will receive assessment and treatment for drug abuse and dependency, and a mental health and behaviour assessment.
He will be supervised for that period.