A COWDENBEATH man threatened to murder his estranged wife if he could not see his kids at Christmas.

As a result, Michael Kelly spent the festive season behind bars.

Kelly, 44, of Sir James Black Road, appeared from custody at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He admitted that on December 14, at the Fife Council area office, Main Street, Kelty, and during a journey to Cowdenbeath, he threatened his former partner with violence.

Depute fiscal Isma Mukhtar told the court that Kelly was being driven to do his community payback unpaid work when the offence occurred.

He spoke in the vehicle about his concerns about not seeing his children at Christmas.

The depute went on: “He said that if he didn’t get to see his children on Christmas Day, he would murder her.”

The police were later contacted and Kelly was arrested.

Defence solicitor Roshni Joshi said: “This has been an extremely acrimonious break-up. His position is that these were empty threats.”

Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed Kelly for 20 days backdated to December 16 and told him: “Grow up.”