Wrexham chainsaw threat man in court

Reporter:

Rebecca Cole

A CHAINSAW-wielding man who threatened to kill his neighbour has appeared in court.

Armed police were involved in a stand-off with a man in Caia Park after officers armed with taser guns, who described the episode as the most terrifying they had ever experienced, called for back-up to calm the situation.

Gavin Randles, 51, of Eighth Avenue, Llay, appeared at Wrexham Magistrates Court yesterday where he admitted charges of affray, using unlawful violence and words and behaviour which would cause someone to fear unlawful violence.

The court heard that on September 9, at a house Randles shared with his partner in Moorland Avenue, he argued with his neighbour Joanne Davies and threatened to kill her.

Justin Espie, prosecuting, said: “The defendant had been provoking Ms Davies’ dog causing it to yelp and he had then attempted to head-butt her.

“The situation led her to fear for the safety of herself and her son.”

Mr Espie detailed how Randles’ partner tried to calm him down and take him indoors.

When police officers arrived, Randles’ partner claimed he was cutting wood in their shed but when Randles saw the police he came out of the shed brandishing a chainsaw.

Mr Espie said: “When he saw the police he rushed out swaying the saw in a violent slashing motion from side to side.

“He began pacing up and down saying he would use the chainsaw against them if they went any nearer.”

Officers pulled out their tasers but later felt it was too risky to use them while Randles still had the chainsaw in hand.

A statement read out in court revealed one of the officers described the situation as “genuinely terrifying” and said they “had never been so frightened” in their entire lives.

But Catherine Jagger, defending, described Randles’ behaviour as “completely out of character” and said the incident was “almost akin to a temporary self-induced insanity” caused by him failing to take his medication properly.

She said: “He is deeply remorseful for what happened and has apologised to the officers, who admitted he was a very different man when he appeared for questioning the next morning.

“He has no recollection of what happened.”

Miss Jagger submitted more than 20 good character references to the magistrates which detailed his extensive charity work including taking part in parachute jumps and marathon running to raise funds.

Randles will appear for sentencing at Mold Crown Court on October 27 and was bailed to his Llay home and ordered not to enter Moorland Avenue and not to contact his former neighbour Joanne Davies or Kathleen Connor, her friend who phoned the police.

See full story in the Leader

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