Alcoholic teen who brandished cleaver and threatened to torch caravan avoids jail

Written by Peter Davison on .

An alcoholic teenager who brandished a meat clever and iron bar after flying into a drunken rage has been given a chance by a judge.

Ryan Drewett had threatened to commit suicide by torching his caravan home before emerging with a weapon in each hand.

But after hearing the 19-year-old needed help for his drinking and anger management a judge decided not to jail him.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how Drewett and his partner were living in a caravan on a farm at Aldbourne, when his young half sister was visiting.

On Saturday July 16 he returned after a drinking session and, after arguing with his girlfriend, he phoned his mum to demand she collect the child.

When she arrived at the caravan she saw him grabbing his partner by the arm, and she tried to get him off her.

After swearing at her and telling her to get off him he produced a lighter and made as if to set light to the vehicle.

"Then, as people retreated from him, he appeared from the caravan shouting and swearing wielding a meat cleaver in one hand and a metal bar, or knife sharpener, in the other threatening to stab people."

Mr Meeke said as he barged past them he repeatedly punched someone in the face before there was a scramble and he fell to the ground.

"He started to shout 'I am going to f***ing kill you', in particular at his mum's new partner who was trying to keep the peace," he said.

When he was questioned he said he had been to the pub downing 12 pints of beer and some whisky, though he insisted he was not drunk.

After arguing with his partner he said he decided to kill himself by setting fire to the caravan and agreed with what others said happened next.

Ryan Drewett, of Heyweood Close, Penhill, Swindon, pleaded guilty to a charge of affray.

The court was told that in March he was put on a six month conditional discharge for battery after he assaulted his partner in another drunken incident.

Alex Daymond, defending, said that his client and partner were living on a farm, but is now living with his father.

He said he suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder but often stopped taking the medication because of the effect the drink was having on them.

"He clearly has anger and self control issues and they are exacerbated when he is in drink and not taking medication," he said.

"He doesn't put that forward as an excuse, he understands he is responsible for being in drink and not taking his medication."

Passing sentence Judge Sir John Royce said "This was a significant episode that night. You put the fear of God in to all sorts of people.

"That must have been extremely distressing for them, including those who are young.

"You have a history for this sort of thing as you were on a conditional discharge for battery earlier in the year. You are not without your issues: I understand that.

"I am going to take a bit of a chance with you and not send you inside today. I give you credit for your plea."

He imposed an eight month jail term suspended two years with 40 days rehabilitation activity requirement and an alcohol treatment requirement.