Neighbour storms over to rival brandishing axe as Havant dispute 'escalates in unusual way'
A NEIGHBOURLY dispute ‘escalated in an unusual way’ when a man stormed over to his rival brandishing an axe after erupting with fury at being given the finger.
Roland Triggs landed himself in custody for more than two months after flying over towards David Derek, who is also his cousin, with a hatchet before being wrestled to the floor in a headlock.
The 33-year-old, of previous good character, ran across Brockenhurst Avenue, Leigh Park, on New Year’s Eve after clashing with his relative, who he lives opposite to.
‘Mr Triggs was in his back garden when he heard a comment from Mr Derek which he took the wrong way, resulting in him sticking up his middle finger,’ prosecutor Gary Venturi told Portsmouth Crown Court.
‘Mr Derek then stuck two fingers up before he was told (by Triggs) to watch his back. (Mr Derek) then told Mr Triggs to “come over and we’ll sort it out”.’
Fuming Triggs took up the offer, but not before he had grabbed his axe. He then sprinted across the garden holding the weapon before he was taken down.
‘Mr Derek saw Mr Triggs running at him with something in his arm. There was a tussle while he was holding the axe in his arm,’ Mr Venturi said.
‘He was disarmed and no injury was caused. Police were called and Mr Triggs was arrested.’
The prosecutor added: ‘Mr Triggs said he took the axe for defensive reasons when he went to speak to Mr Derek.’
Bridget O’Hagan, defending, said: ‘There were no previous problems between the two of them.
‘It was an impulsive and emotional act.’
To add to Triggs’ woes an application for bail was rejected by a judge on a previous court appearance because of the close proximity to which the pair live.
The situation had left the defendant locked-up behind bars while on remand waiting for his sentence hearing for more than two months.
Triggs admitted possessing an offensive weapon.
Recorder Noel Casey told Triggs: ‘It was a verbal altercation that escalated in an unusual way.’
But after ‘taking account’ of the jail time while on remand, the recorder sentenced Triggs to four months jail suspended for 12 months – effectively freeing the defendant immediately.
Triggs will also have to complete 20 rehabilitation days.
A destruction order for the axe was also made. ‘You will not be getting that back,’ Judge Casey told Triggs, who appeared via video-link from prison.
‘That’s ok, your honour,’ Triggs replied.
The judge added: ‘I would try and stay away from Mr Derek if you can or at least make it polite when you see him.’