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Llanidloes man wielded sledgehammer on doorstep

Published date: 09 July 2017 |
Published by: Court Reporter
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A man who wielded a sledgehammer on his neighbours’ doorstep has admitted a public order offence.

Welshpool Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday that Terence Richard Daniel Thomas, 62, “snapped” on June 5 and grabbed the sledgehammer before going to the home of Heather Hughes and Christopher Bosley.

Thomas, of Pen y Graig, Llanidloes, pleaded guilty to using threatening or abusive behaviour to cause alarm or distress to Ms Hughes.

Ms Hughes and Mr Bosley were present in court to see Thomas sentenced, when he was also given a restraining order to prevent him from approaching or contacting either of them.

Rhian Jones, prosecuting, said: “The complainant and her partner have known the defendant for approximately six years – they used to be friends.”

However, their friendship had recently broken down after Thomas and his partner bought a house on the same street as Ms Hughes and Mr Bosley, and began renovating it.

On June 5, Mr Bosley had stopped for a drink in the King’s Head on his way to pick up a take away. Thomas was in the pub and there were “comments exchanged between the two,” said Ms Jones.

“Mr Bosley believed the comments to be threatening and felt uncomfortable.”

He went to collect his food and returned home. After eating, at around 8.30pm, he went upstairs but heard Ms Hughes shouting, “go away”.

Mr Bosley looked out of the window and could see Thomas shouting and swearing – and holding a sledgehammer.

Ms Jones said: “It was four foot long and he was wielding it backwards and forwards, towards the front door.

Ms Hughes “felt frightened, she expected the sledge hammer through the door.”

The police were called, and the sledgehammer was found at the defendant’s home nearby.

When interviewed, Thomas told police he had been swinging it by his side and had not raised it. He admitted he had picked it up with the intention to frighten someone.

Ms Hughes provided a victim impact statement which was considered by the magistrates.

Gemma Gordon, for Thomas, said: “He is 62-years-old and he has no previous convictions or cautions.

“He unfortunately snapped and did this utterly stupid thing. He is ashamed of his actions and he fully accepts the offence.”

Thomas was given a 12-month community order, with 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days, and a restraining order for the same period. He must also complete 100 hours’ unpaid work, and pay £85 costs and an £85 surcharge.

For more news from across the region visit countytimes.co.uk