Hammer-wielding man escapes with suspended prison term

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A 33-year-old man sparked a series of 999 calls when he was seen wandering the streets of Sowerby Bridge with bloodied hands and armed with a claw hammer.

Bolton man Daniel Holmes drove to the town last month so he could speak with his wife’s brother Steven Baxter after she had suffered facial injuries.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Holmes, who had been drinking, drove his works van into the Wood Croft area and took a claw hammer out of the van before approaching his brother-in-law’s home.

Prosecutor Philip Adams said Mr Baxter managed to lock a side door, but Holmes smashed a window at the rear of the house and got into the property.

Mr Adams said Holmes was threatening to kill Mr Baxter and the complainant had to run out of the front door and go into nearby woods.

Holmes, of Mason Street, Bolton, suffered cuts to his hands as he got into the house and as he walked around the area looking for Mr Baxter several concerned members of the public rang 999.

Mr Adams said Holmes was found by police in Newlands Avenue and he dropped the hammer when he was told to do so.

In his interview Holmes said he had gone to Sowerby Bridge to speak to his brother-in-law and sort matters out, but he became angry when he was refused entry to the house.

Holmes pleaded guilty to having an offensive weapon and affray and Judge Peter Benson was told that he was extremely remorseful for his behaviour that evening.

Lawyer John Bottomley, for Holmes, accepted that his client did not deal well with emotional situations and he said Holmes regretted what he had done.

Sentencing Holmes to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, Judge Benson said his behaviour was completely unacceptable and he should be sending him straight to jail.

But after reading references about Holmes and particularly his work in the community the judge said he had been persuaded to suspend the sentence.

As part of the order Holmes will also have to do 200 hours unpaid work and pay £900 costs.