Morecambe man waved axe in front of work colleague and pregnant mum in cocaine fuelled rant

A disgruntled worker left a pregnant woman terrified after attending her home with an axe to speak to his work colleague.

Monday, 18th January 2021, 3:48 pm

Joshua Benjamin Christian Rhoods, 28, of White Lund Road, Morecambe, had worked with the man for five years with no issues between them, but became irate after a barbecue on August 24, 2019.

Judge Sara Dodd, sitting at Preston Crown Court, imposed 21 weeks suspended for 12 months, with a probation programme, 80 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation requirement.

Preston Crown Court heard Rhoods told his colleague and boss that he was going out to buy some cocaine during the barbecue.

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Crown Court

Amanda Johnson, prosecuting, said: " On his return his behaviour was noted to be different, he was jumpy and giddy."

At about 1.30am the defendant, victim and their boss all got into a taxi together, and during the journey Rhoods was complaining about his financial circumstances.

The taxi dropped the victim and their boss off at another address but Rhoods carried on in the taxi.

During the journey he then phoned his colleague repeatedly and eventually texted him asking him to come outside.

Two minutes later the defendant appeared outside the address and the court heard Rhoods pushed past another man and into the kitchen, ranting his colleague had " disrespected him" in the taxi.

He was armed with an axe and shouted he was going to "put an axe in his head and chop him up".

The brave mum, whose three year old child was asleep upstairs, tried to get it from him.

Rhoods, who has seven convictions for 14 offences, then drove away, circled the block and phoned his victim saying: " Where are you? I'm coming round to smash you up."

He denied having an axe when he was arrested at his home, and told police: " He'd been bullying me and it got out of hand and I'd had enough."

He pleaded guilty to possessing a bladed article.

Defending, Rachel Woods said since the incident he had remained abstinent from alcohol and his life had settled down.

He had set up his own business as a handyman and had "shaken hands" with the people involved in the incident when he bumped into them.

Judge Sara Dodd said: " You accept that your behaviour during the course of this incident must have been terrifying, particularly with a pregnant lady, bearing in mind her condition and the fact she has another young child at home.

"Quite what it was that persuaded you to arm yourself with an axe I still don't understand, and I'm not entirely sure you do.

"But I'm mindful you have not offended for four years beforehand and this is the most serious of your convictions. I bear in mind there had been a significant delay between the incident happening and your sentencing today."

A count of affray will lie on the file.

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