Man wielded hammer and said ‘I’ll kill you’

A man who told a Long Melford man “I will kill you” and smashed a car window with a hammer has narrowly avoided jail.

Shane Devereux, 21, admitted possessing an offensive weapon in public, using threatening behaviour and criminal damage at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

The court heard that Luke Cole was visiting his friend, Dayne Nichols, at his home in Shaw Road, Long Melford, on June 24 when he went outside to get something from his car.

Rosalind Cappleman, prosecuting, said: “He heard someone shouting ‘Get your mate out here now’ and swearing.

“He saw the defendant holding a claw hammer and pointing it towards him.”

Mrs Cappleman said Mr Cole went back into the house and told Mr Nichols that Devereux, Mr Cole’s step-sister’s partner, was outside. Mr Cole stayed inside with Mr Nichol’s partner, Danielle John, and her two children.

“The defendant was outside shouting ‘I’m going to kill you – I’m going to get you,” said Mrs Cappleman.

The court heard that Miss John saw Devereux, who formerly lived in Woollards Gardens, smash a window on Mr Nichols’ van and swing the hammer round his head before throwing it at the house.

The police were called and Devereux co-operated but continued to make threats.

The court heard Devereux had two previous convictions, the most recent for ABH in 2008.

In mitigation, Nick Jennaway said it was a dispute between two families and said Devereux had made efforts to address his behaviour.

Magistrates sentenced Devereux to four weeks in prison suspended for a year, a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work and £85 costs.