Garden City hammer man said: "I'll smash your head in"


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

POLICE were alerted when a man armed with a hammer shouted threats and demanded a man came out of his home.

Darren Paul Byrne, 38, said to have a drink problem, also started striking the front door with the hammer.

Police arrested him and Byrne claimed the man inside the flat had stolen his phone.

Prosecutor Justin Espie told Flintshire Magistrates Court at Mold yesterday that Byrne was drunk and intended to attack the other man – and therefore the prosecution put the case forward as having a weapon in dangerous circumstances.

Byrne, of Sealand Avenue in Garden City, admitted damage and possessing the hammer following the incident on April 11 and was sent to the crown court for sentence.

He was bailed in the meantime.

The court was told the victim initially rang 999 and said there was a man trying to break his door in.

Byrne shouted at him: “You have got my phone – pass it through the letter box or I will smash your head in with the hammer.”

A neighbour also dialled 999 and said there was a man banging on the door with a hammer causing damage and shouting threats.

Police arrived and arrested Byrne, the hammer was seized and he said he had it for his own protection. He claimed the victim had stolen his mobile phone the day before.

Damian Sabino, defending, said his client had a drink problem.

It was his case that the victim had been to his home and had a drink and Byrne believed he had taken his mobile phone.

Instead of reporting the matter to police, his client, in drink, had gone around to try and get his phone back.

The other man had a reputation and Byrne had taken the hammer with him for protection.

“He lost the plot. In his own mind he thought if he did not get the phone back, he would cause damage to the value of the phone.

“This is not a violent vigilante but someone who was betrayed by a man he invited to his home for a drink.

“He realises how foolish he has been.”

Mr Sabino stressed there had been no confrontation and he was never in a position where injuries could have been caused.

See full story in the Leader

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