Man grabbed knife after being dumped

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A 28-year-old man threatened to harm himself with a knife before driving into his girlfriend’s car after she ended their relationship.

Darren Bissett reacted angrily to the news that his six-week relationship with Claire Totman was over, Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday.

Prosecutor Nicola Leppard described how Bissett, formerly of Ash Street in Boxford, and Miss Totman had endured a turbulent time together.

“They had been arguing for most of their time together and Miss Totman said the relationship should end as they argued so much,” she said.

Mrs Leppard said that after informing Bissett of her decision, Miss Totman left her house in Boxford to go to see a friend across the road. While at the friend’s, she received a number of text messages from Bissett asking her to return.

“She went back and they started to argue,” said Mrs Leppard.

“Miss Totman went upstairs and was lying on the bed when Bissett grabbed her arms and pulled her on to a pillow. He then took her phone and threatened to throw it down the toilet.”

Mrs Leppard said that while the pair were rowing, Bissett held on to her arms for 30 seconds, pinning her down.

“It did frighten her as Bissett was looking angry,” said Mrs Leppard.

After releasing her, Bissett went into the kitchen and took an eight-inch kitchen knife and held it to his wrist.

Mrs Leppard said the noise and commotion of the argument had alerted neighbours who knocked on the door. Despite initially telling Miss Totman not to answer the door, Bissett let her leave and followed her outside.

He then drove off in his red Ford Fiesta – scratching Miss Totman’s green Ford Focus as he did so – only to return five minutes later.

“He wanted Miss Totman to get in so they could talk about things, but she refused,” said Mrs Leppard. “He then drove towards the group outside the house, who were concerned they would get run over, and hit Miss Totman’s car.”

When police arrived, they found Bissett sitting in his heavily damaged car in the entrance of a field in Groton. The knife was on the backseat.

During police interview, Bissett, who pleaded guilty to criminal damage and possession of a knife in a public place, said he had not thought about what he would do with the knife.

The court was told that Miss Totman’s car, which she had bought three weeks earlier for £1,000, was a write-off.

In mitigation, Mark Thompson said his client had a history of mental health issues.

“He is struggling to come to terms with what happened on that day,” he said. “He accepts the allegations and in picking up the knife he was attempting to make Miss Totman think he would use it on himself. He has a history of self-harm.”

Mr Thompson said Bissett had since moved to Ayr in Scotland to be closer to his family and was due to see a counsellor.

Bissett will be sentenced on August 5.