Dr. Richard Cunningham of Yellowknife has been sentenced to 90 days in jail after threatening to kill a woman and violating emergency protection orders she took out against him.

Cunningham, 61, had asked to serve his sentence in the community under strict conditions, like house arrest.

But territorial court Judge Bernadette Schmaltz said she didn't believe the doctor would obey conditions.

During a bitter breakup in 2010, Cunningham threatened to kill a woman.

In a message he left on the woman's voicemail last August, he said her "life would end kind of abruptly" if she didn't do as he said.

The 61-year-old physician also ignored emergency protection orders the woman took out against him, calling her six days after he was told not to contact her and asking if she was going to drop charges.

Judge triples recommended sentence

Schmaltz sentenced the doctor to 90 days in jail, although the Crown asked for only 30.

She said that just because Cunningham is a doctor and a valued member of the community doesn't mean he's above the law.

The judge allowed Cunningham to serve his time on weekends, so he has a chance to keep his job with Yellowknife Health and Social Services.

Cunningham told CBC News he deserved 90 days for what he did. He says he has been taking counselling and has had no recent contact with the woman.

The doctor has been in trouble with the law before.

In May, he was fined $3,000 for telling a local airport staff member that he hoped his bag would blow up the plane.

He was also convicted of impaired driving in August 2008, then caught driving while disqualified six months later.