Jail for former drug dealer who brandished hatchet

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A former drug dealer who brandished a hatchet at a couple on a petrol station forecourt has been jailed for ten months.

David Brett claimed the couple had been involved in supplying substances to his drug-using former partner.

But after hearing there was no evidence to support what he said a judge told him the terrifying incident was so serious that he had to be jailed.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how the 41-year-old brandished the weapon outside Budgens in Marlborough.

He said Maisie Gregory was sitting in a car while her boyfriend Henry Cook was inside paying for the petrol, when she spotted Brett.

"She saw the defendant approaching. She had met him a few times, he was the former partner of a friend of hers," he said.

"She hoped he hadn't seen her because she didn't want to talk to him, she clearly feared trouble. He approached the car and straight away started shouting at her.

"He crouched down beside the caser and said he had an axe in his bag. He put the bag down, she heard a clank as he put it down. He asked her if she heard it."

After asking her to get out of the car he said 'I have got an axe in my bag and I am not afraid to use it,' and waved the hatchet at shoulder height.

She feared for her life as he ranted at her and when Mr Cook came across he threatened him as well.

The burly axeman continued the threats and then eventually put the weapon away as frightened staff called the police.

Mr Meeke said that he seemed to believe the victims were in some way involved in drug supply, which is not the case.

When he was questioned by police he said he carried the axe for his own protection from drug dealers.

Brett, of Priorsfield, Marlborough, pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour, assault and having an offensive weapon.

The court heard he was jailed in 2003 for supplying drugs.

Rob Ross, defending, said his client was the sole carer for his four-and-half year old son because of the child's mum's problems.

He said he was so upset about her issues that he was determined to stop people in the Marlborough area supplying her with drugs.

Although he was brandishing the weapon in a threatening manner he said it was only to frighten people and not to actually inflict violence.

Were he jailed he said that it would be the child the suffered more and could be placed in care.

Passing sentence Judge Tim Mousley QC said "What you did on the forecourt of the petrol station outside Budgens in Marlborough on September 25 this year was appalling.

"It must have frightened anyone who saw it, perhaps it may have terrified anyone who saw it.

"This was not just taking the law into your own hands, it goes way beyond that. It was threat of really serious violence."