A ROMAN Catholic priest answered a knock at his door to be confronted by a man who tried to smash a broken bottle into his face.
But the Dean at St Mary’s Cathedral in Wrexham was “a robust man of God” who quickly and effectively dispatched his would-be attacker.
At Mold Crown Court yesterday, defendant Steven Barry Ellis, 45, was jailed for two years and nine months.
Ellis – said to be so drunk he could remember nothing of the bizarre incident – admitted attempting to wound Father Simon Treloar with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm and possessing a broken vodka bottle as an offensive weapon.
Judge Niclas Parry told Ellis it was “shameful conduct”.
Sentencing him, the judge said: “You could have disfigured your victim.
“You could have killed him.
“He was a decent man representing a church with a way of life that had shown you kindness. You have stooped as low as you can.”
Henry Hills, defending, said Ellis, of Bodlyn, Acrefair, had “bitten off more than he could chew.”
He said: “He came across a robust man of God who defended himself very properly and he very effectively dispatched Mr Ellis.”
Fortunately for the victim and for his client, no physical harm was caused.
The terrifying incident occurred at the Dean’s home in the grounds of the cathedral on the evening of April 3.
Father Treloar, who had been at St Mary’s since August of last year, heard a knock on the door, checked the CCTV and saw a man standing outside.
Prosecutor David Martin told how Father Treloar opened the door and said: “Can I help you?”
But the man turned towards him and the priest immediately saw he had a smashed vodka bottle in his right hand.
He was holding the bottle by the neck and he immediately took a swing at the priest with the broken glass.
It came within about a foot-and-a-half of his face as Ellis shouted out “you f****** b******” in slurred speech.
But Father Treloar acted very quickly and grabbed his attacker’s wrist to prevent himself being injured.
He then used both hands to push the man away, which caused him to fall backwards, and he was able to close and lock the door.
The entire incident was captured on CCTV.
Arrested a short time later, Ellis was interviewed when sober and said he was so drunk he could not remember what had happened.
Ellis had previous convictions for 107 offences but only three of them for violence.
Judge Parry told him he had a dreadful previous criminal history and he was no stranger to walking around the streets with weapons.
“Mercifully for you, as well as for your victim, he was not injured.
“You came across a resolute man who showed fortitude in the face of what would have been a terrifying incident.
“You were out of control of your senses because of the consumption of alcohol,” Judge Parry said.