The brother of a missing teenager Leah Croucher has been spared a criminal conviction after he tried to take the law into his own hands during the search for his sister.
Haydon Croucher, 23, was accused of making threats to a Milton Keynes man called Adnan Choudhry, who he describes as Leah's ex-boyfriend.
Police charged Haydon with causing Mr Choudhry to fear that violence would be used against him by making threats and sending threatening and abusive messages between February 1 and April 30.
But Aylesbury Crown Court judge Francis Sheridan said today it was "a real tragedy" that the concerned brother was in court.
He said: " You and your family are entitled to and deserve our utter sympathy because Leah is missing."
Police agreed it was not in the public interest to continue the prosecution if Haydon would accept a voluntary restraining order which would protect Mr Choudhry.
Leah Croucher essential reading
Judge Sheridan told him: “The police have fully investigated the person that you suspected. There is, at this stage, nothing to support those suspicions.
He added: " Can I plead with you to behave so that police can complete this investigation? I would love to say with a happy ending but I simply do not know. She is missing.
"I cannot go into the details of the police investigation but can tell you it is being controlled at a very high level. It is detailed and, if I respectfully say so, they really are trying desperately hard.
“You must allow them, however strongly you feel, to do the investigating. You will jeopardise their investigation if you get it into your head that somebody is responsible for it.”
Much-loved Leah Croucher 19, disappeared while walking to work in Milton Keynes on February 15.
She was last seen on Buzzacott Lane in Furzton that morning just after 8am, and, despite emotional appeals from her family and a £5,000 reward, there has been no confirmed sighting since.
Today Haydon agreed to accept the restraining order, which prevents him from approaching within 25 metres of Mr Choudhry, contacting him in any way, or visiting the Knowlhill area of MK.
Judge Sheridan told him: “I repeat, the family have the court’s sympathy, but I beg you, please, let the police do the job and there is no basis for your suspicions about Mr Choudhry.
"I am quite confident the OIC (officer in charge of the case) will keep you and the family abreast of developments if there are any.”“
Anybody with any information at all about Leah should call police urgently on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.