Wigan man was close to being poleaxed with a hammer

A Wigan man narrowly missed being struck on the head by a hammer-wielding thug.

Mark Griffiths swung the weapon at Michael Chadwick after arriving at his Ashton home with another man and repeatedly kicking at the door.

Police incident

Police incident

Mr Chadwick and his partner looked out from an upstairs window of his home in Poplar Avenue and saw Griffiths and his friend, one of whom shouted

“Get out of your ****ing house, I’m going to smash your head in.’

“Mr Chadwick, not the shy retiring type, concerned that the kicking would cause damage went downstairs and opened the door,” said prosecutor Simon Duncan. “The two men tried to force their way in but Mr Chadwick used his shoulder against the door to stop them.”

The other man shouted that Mr Chadwick was trying to get “Daz” jailed for something he had not done. Mr Duncan said Mr Chadwick’s partner had made a statement about Daz in connection with an incident.

“Mr Chadwick pushed the males away from the door and stepped outside. At that point the defendant pulled out a hammer from his shorts and swung it at Mr Chadwick narrowly missing his head. He stepped back and punched the defendant in the face who fell to the ground.”

His companion tried to attack him but a neighbour stepped and stopped him and there was a tussle. Both men left after the neighbour said he had called the police.

Officers stopped Griffiths and his companion in a taxi and arrested them but the hammer was not recovered.

Griffiths, 53, of Phoenix Brow, St Helens, admitted possession of an offensive weapon.

Judge Nigel Flewitt sentenced him to nine months’ jail and said that he regarded swinging the hammer at Mr Chadwick was an aggravating feature. “Mr

Chadwick, a man of some fortitude, managed to repel the attack being made against him but does not minimize the seriousness of your offence,” he said.

Lloyd Morgan, defending, said Griffiths had been in the grip of alcohol and drugs but since being imprisoned has taken positive steps to rehabilitate himself. “He is now a completely different man.”

He has mental health issues but is no longer on medication and has expressed genuine remorse, he added.