A MAN who threatened to behead a builder while wielding a meat cleaver in a dispute over parking has been locked up.

David Brown, from Woolston, made the chilling threats to a contractor employed by a neighbour after he moved his van to the road to allow the homeowner to park on the drive.

The 65-year-old shoved the builder to the chest with force before threatening decapitation while holding the bladed article.

He also left a handwritten note on the builder’s van calling him an ‘asshole’.

Brown appeared at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday to be sentenced after pleading guilty to charges of threatening another with a bladed article in a public place and affray.

Here, he was told that only a custodial sentence was appropriate due to the gravity of his offending.

Peter Hussey, prosecuting, explained how the incident took place on February 3 this year outside Brown’s Vaudrey Drive home.

His next-door neighbour had employed a builder, who had parked his Ford Transit van on her driveway.

After returning home around mid-afternoon, the builder wanted to show her the work he had done while she was away and what he planned to do the next day.

Chester Crown Court

Chester Crown Court

Before doing so, he decided to move his van off her drive to allow her to park, leaving the vehicle on the road near the defendant’s driveway. He thought it would only be left there for a matter of minutes and that it would not matter.

Having had a conversation with his client, the builder started walking back towards his van when he was met by the defendant, striding down the driveway and pushing him ‘really hard’ in the chest with his right hand.

In his left hand, the defendant was carrying a ‘sizeable’ meat cleaver with an 8” blade and 4” handle.

Not only did he shove the builder with force, Brown angrily shouted: “I’m going to cut your head off.”

He then turned around and walked back to his house. His next-door neighbour saw the shove and the meat cleaver and called the police.

She also captured a video snippet of the altercation on her mobile phone and shouted that she was calling the police, to which Brown responded: “Well phone the police,” and disappeared down the side of his house.

The builder told officers he thought the defendant was going to stab him to the head and cut his head off. He added that there was a ‘look of rage on his face’ and he was genuinely fearful for his safety.

He went inside his client’s home to calm down after being threatened, and when he left and walked back to his van, there was a piece of paper stuck to his windscreen with the word ‘asshole’ on it.

The defendant became involved in an ‘awkward’ arrest by police by resisting and having to be handcuffed, and during his police interview he gave a ‘ridiculous’ explanation.

The incident occurred on Vaudrey Drive in Woolston (Image: Google Maps)

The incident occurred on Vaudrey Drive in Woolston (Image: Google Maps)

Brown said he was expecting a delivery of pig carcasses, which he chops up to turn into cat food to make extra money, and with the van parked near his drive, he was fearful about missing the delivery.

The court heard that Brown had no previous convictions.

Jeremy Rawson, defending, explained that the probation serviced judged his client to pose a low risk of reconviction and medium risk of harm.

He said: “The defendant can be managed in the community and there is a prospect of rehabilitation. He is a man who would benefit from intervention to address the deficit in his thinking at the time.”

But this view was rejected by judge Michael Leeming, who said: “In your pre-sentence report, you show little victim empathy and no real remorse.

“Anyone who goes out in a public place and threatens a member of the public with a bladed article can expect a custodial sentence. This sort of thing happens far too often.

“I cannot see anything which would make it unjust for anything other than a custodial sentence to be imposed.”

Brown was sentenced to six months in prison. An order was also approved for the forfeiture and destruction of the meat cleaver.