Drunk spared jail after attacking store with axe

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A DRUNK who went on a ‘bizarre’ wrecking spree with an axe outside a Sheffield off-licence has been spared jail.

Curtis Wilson smashed up a sign, shutter and electrical box at the Best One shop, Leighton Road, Gleadless Valley.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the 23-year-old was spotted by worker Muhammad Bhatti ‘swinging’ the weapon around - and he caused nearly £2,000 of damage.

Wilson then took the axe to a nearby block of flats, where he was seen chopping into window sills and broke a window before being chased by police officers.

However, unemployed Wilson walked free from court with a 26-week suspended prison sentence. Shop manager Tararak Sadiq described the sentence as ‘soft’.

Mr Sadiq said: “The staff member was shaken.

“If soft punishments are handed out there’s not a lot you can do.

“I don’t think drunkenness can be a reason to cause havoc in your neighbourhood.”

Beverley Tait, prosecuting, said Mr Bhatti saw Wilson at the shop door on Tuesday, August 30, at about 8.30pm.

She said: “He was stood near to the door with something up his sleeve.

“He was then seen to cause a large amount of damage outside of the property, swinging with an implement which was in fact an axe.”

She said he damaged a lottery sign and a shutter on a side door, as well as the electrical box which controlled the shutter.

Ms Tait told the court he caused £1,950 of damage.

Sentencing, Judge Alan Goldsack QC said: “The way you behaved that night can essentially be put down to drink - far too much of it.”

The judge said it would be ‘more constructive’ to impose a sentence which addressed his drink problem.

Wilson, of Leighton Road, admitted criminal damage and possessing a bladed article.

He was sentenced to 26 weeks’ prison, suspended for 12 months, handed a three-month curfew and ordered to undergo alcohol treatment.