Terrifying ordeal for Sheffield pub landlady

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A drunken carer who went ‘berserk’ and left a Sheffield publican fearing for her life has been jailed for eight months.

Michael Eyre armed himself with a wooden club and forced landlady Kimley Griffiths to lock herself in a loo at the Double Top in Halfway.

After trying to batter his way in through the cubicle door he smashed a glass panel before attacking Mrs Griffiths’ nephew who came to her aid.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the incident had a ‘horrendous effect’ on Mrs Griffiths who is now afraid to go out and suffers panic attacks.

Eyre, aged 48, formerly of The Plantin, Halfway, who was the pub’s resident DJ, admitted false imprisonment, possessing an offensive weapon and affray.

There was uproar in the public gallery of the court from members of the public who swore at the defendant and criticised the length of the sentence.

Prosecutor Michael Tooley said Eyre had split with his wife and was already drunk when he went to the pub at midday on January 15.

He argued with Mrs Griffiths over his personal life and she was so scared she rang a friend and her nephew Michael Wallis.

She locked herself in a loo as Eyre used the baton to smash the door.

“She thought he was going to break the door down,” added Mr Tooley.

Miss Griffiths called the police on her mobile phone.

“She said she had never been so scared in her whole life,” said Mr Tooley.

Eyre continued his 15-minute rampage, smashing a glass panel and striking Mr Wallis who came to help.

Barry White, defending Eyre, said: “He had reached a breaking point in his life and had medical difficulties at the time,”

He said Eyre worked as a carer for adults with learning difficulties and had since lost his job.

Judge Paul Watson QC said he was ‘astonished’ Eyre, who was of previous good character, was before the court.

“Something triggered a reaction in you that almost defies belief,” he said.

“For a quarter of an hour you went on the rampage.

“The complainant was absolutely terrified and the effects on her persist to this day.

“Your behaviour over that ten or 15 minutes has had a truly profound effect on her.”