Axeman escapes jail after wild rampage


An axeman who went on a drunken rampage in three communities has been spared jail.

Appearing at Luton Crown Court, James Hyett – who smashed windows and stabbed a car tyre during the frenzy in Henlow, Clifton and Shefford last November – escaped with a 24-month community order.

Judge Barbara Mensah spared Hyett, 33, a prison term even though he was already subject to a suspended 12-week custodial sentence when he was arrested.

Hyett, of Saffron Walden, Essex was arrested in Shefford on the evening of November 10 following a spate of criminal damage.

He first tried to break into an office at Henlow Car Sales, smashing a window and trying to force open a door.

Hyett then smashed the rear window of a BMW parked on the forecourt.

Next he moved across to Clifton Cuisine in Broad Street and attacked a Land Rover Discovery, stabbing a tyre with his knife.

When chased by a restaurant worker, he then stopped and with the axe in one hand and the knife in the other and said “Come on then.”

Hyett made off, but he was found by police shortly afterwards sitting on a wall outside the Esso service station in Elm Road, Shefford and was arrested.

When interviewed, Hyett said he had been walking past the showroom when he recalled buying a Porsche there 10 years earlier.

He later found the car to be ‘no good’ but said he never received any recompense from the business so he attacked the forecourt and the car parked outside.

He told police he had drunk three litres of vodka in the three days leading up to his arrest.

Bedford magistrates had previously convicted Hyett of two offences of damaging property, having an offensive weapon, resisting a constable, and having a bladed article in a public place.

The previous suspended prison sentence was imposed after Hyett left a severed deer’s head on the counter of a Tesco store and put its entrails in an aisle.

In addition to the community order he was ordered to pay £900 compensation to Henlow Car Sales and £250 to the Land Rover Discovery’s owner.