TWO men launched a late-night axe and hammer attack on a woman’s South Tyneside flat, mistakenly thinking a rival lived there.
Ralph Oliver and Jason Wilson armed themselves to show the man – who they accuse of bullying them – that they wouldn’t be made fools of.
But the man had moved out of the upstairs flat in Laygate, South Shields, some time ago and it is now occupied by a woman, who was woken up by the bungling pair trying to hack their way through the back door.
When she looked out of her window to see where the noise was coming from, she saw the pair in her back yard with the weapons.
Police arrived soon after following a 999 call from another resident, and Oliver and Wilson tried to run away.
Officers caught Oliver – who kicked the inside of the police car – straight away.
Wilson attempted to escape but fell over in the back lane.
Oliver, of Quarry Lane, South Shields, pleaded guilty at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court to two counts of criminal damage, using threatening behaviour and possessing an offensive weapon.
Wilson, of South Crescent, Boldon Colliery, pleaded guilty to criminal damage, using threatening behaviour and possessing an offensive weapon.
Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, said: “A woman lives in the upstairs flat and heard a series of loud bangs coming from the back yard.
“She looked out and saw them hitting the door with something but couldn’t see what the items were.
“A police car appeared and they tried to run.
“Wilson had a hammer in his hand, and while running away, stopped and turned to face the officer chasing, which led him to fear for his safety.
“He then ran off again but fell over.”
Magistrates were told that when officers searched Oliver, they found an axe in his trousers. T
he court heard that when they were arrested they both told police that there was a man who lived at the house who had a problem with them and they wanted to show him that they wouldn’t be pushed around.
Mr Laidlaw added: “They both said they had been drinking.
“Oliver said he thought it would be a good idea to go around to the flat and show the man that he wasn’t going to be made a fool of.
“Wilson said the man had been bullying them and they were going to put an end to it once and for all.”
Paul Kennedy, defending, said: “I think this will attract a community order, and the case will need to be adjourned for the purpose of preparing a report about them to determine the best way of dealing with them.”
Magistrates adjourned the case until Tuesday so the probation service can prepare pre-sentence reports about Oliver and Wilson.
They were released on bail until then.