Thug threatens to kill judge from dock as he’s jailed for Portsmouth crowbar attack

Lee Bartholomew theatened to kill a judge
Lee Bartholomew theatened to kill a judge
Janet Cooper with her beloved retriever Trudy, left, daughter Elaine Markley and husband Frank

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A THUG exploded with rage trying to break out of a high-security dock before threatening to kill a judge.

Lee Bartholomew gripped the gaps in the 6ft panes and violently shook the reinforced glass with such force they briefly bent as if they were going to buckle.

You’re a dead man, and you, you ponce

Lee Bartholomew

Five dock officers had to surround and subdue the 54-year-old former boxer as friends from the public gallery rushed to calm him.

During the outburst at Portsmouth Crown Court, family tried to soothe him.

Dad-of-two Bartholomew had just been sentenced for a brutal crowbar attack on a man in a chip shop in Portsea when he kicked and punched the dock wall and glass.

Just minutes before, friends had told a judge that Bartholomew had a ‘heart of gold’ underneath an ‘intimidating mask of tattoos’.

Bartholomew shouted abuse at judge Michael Vere-Hodge QC and the prosecutor.

He said: ‘What about my side, not everyone else’s side?

‘You’re a dead man, and you, you ponce.’

Shouting he hoped the judge died of cancer, he said: ‘When I get out of here I’ll do you. You’re a dead man.’

After Bartholomew was taken down from the dock – apologising to the dock officers as he went downstairs – judge Vere-Hodge said: ‘The outburst was, in my experience, one of the worst I’ve ever seen in many years.’

The defendant, of Ranelagh Road, Stamshaw, had already been allowed to come back to the dock during the sentencing after he walked off down to the cells in frustration.

The judge brought him back for a third time after his threats, where Bartholomew said: ‘I’m sorry your honour, I didn’t really mean that.’

Bartholomew was silenced by the judge as the defendant tried to explain his anger.

‘In your particular circumstances I’m going to accept that apology, I’m not going to hold you in contempt,’ the judge said. He added: ‘That’s a matter of leniency.’

Bartholomew had taken a crowbar from his van after being called by his partner Lisa Warlow claiming a man, Edward Carter, had verbally abused her in the Yuan Siu takeaway, in St James’s Road, Portsea.

When Bartholomew arrived he walked into the shop swearing, demanding cash from Mr Carter and swinging the crowbar at his head.

Bartholomew missed and was pushed out of the door by Mr Carter, who held his own friend, Victor Ayling, back.

A witness saw Bartholomew hit Mr Ayling over the head four or five times with the crowbar, leaving him ‘utterly unconscious’ and ‘bleeding profusely’ on January 2 last year at 6.50pm. He fled, later throwing his crowbar in the sea.

Judge Vere-Hodge said: ‘Undoubtedly what you did to him has changed his life.’

The judge said the defendant had no remorse and sentenced him close to the five-year maximum.

Mr Ayling suffered a hairline fracture to his skull and deep lacerations to his head.

Bartholomew had been due to stand trial on January 16. He then admitted GBH and was sentenced on January 20.

He pleaded guilty on the basis the attack was excessive self-defence, he hit Mr Ayling three times, that Mr Carter and the victim had been drinking, and he thought he was about to be stabbed.

The court heard his partner had shouted out thinking Mr Carter had a knife. No blade was found by police.