South Yorkshire man armed himself with clawhammer and baseball bat after wife told him to leave their home

A South Yorkshire man armed himself with a clawhammer and a baseball bat after his wife of 16 years told him to leave their home.

Friday, 4th September 2020, 4:02 pm

Lee Sewell had become "angry, unpredictable and paranoid," over the previous 12 months before he smashed the dining table with a hammer, on July 17.

When his wife asked him again the next day, he brought a baseball bat into the house, saying: "If I leave I will smash this house to pieces. There's no point in me living."

In a telephone conversation on July 22, he warned her to phone the police and said: “I'm f****** coming for you."

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The 38-year-old admitted three counts of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place, putting a person in fear of violence and harassment

He called her 18 times and when he appeared on the driveway, she hid upstairs, prosecutor Louise Gallagher said.

He was released on bail and told not to contact his wife, but on July 25, he told her he was sleeping in his car on the Grimethorpe bypass, where she brought him some clothing.

Five days later, after threatening suicide, she agreed to meet him, but found he was carrying a baseball bat, an extendable baton and a claw hammer, which he claimed he needed for his own protection.

Later that day he was arrested while drunkenly trying to hide the weapons in bushes, near Asda in Grimethorpe.

In a statement Sewell's wife said: "He is controlling me through his behaviour which is all to grind me down and take him back."

The court also heard how Sewell harassed his wife's friend by calling her 13 times and taking pictures of her home.

He threatened to report her for benefit fraud if she didn't contact his wife on his behalf.

Vanessa Saxton, mitigating, said Sewell, a wagon driver, has been in custody for five weeks.

Sewell, 38, of The Rise, Brierley, Barnsley, pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place, putting a person in fear of violence and harassment.

Judge Graham Reeds QC said Sewell was "a dependable family man" before he "went off the rails," but his offending "involved the threat of violence over several weeks."

On Thursday, he imposed a 12 month community order, with 100 hours of unpaid work. No restraining order was requested.

Read the latest cases from Sheffield Crown Court here.

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