Dad’s axe rage at noisy builder

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AN angry dad threatened to attack a builder with an axe after his young children were woken by noisy construction work.

Father of three Lee James Leyland, 29, confronted builder Paul Craven after accusing him of waking his three children with power tools being used on a council house refurbishment project next door before the approved time for the start of working.

But when the row escalated and the tradesman’s son and a friend arrived at the house, Leyland disappeared into his home and re-appeared carrying an axe at the side of his body.

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates were told he challenged the builders to come out of the property and “sort it out.”

He then warned them: “I’m going to imbed this in your head.”

Katy Beattie, prosecuting, said that builder Mr Craven was so shocked by the threats he shut himself inside the house he was working on.

She said: “Mr Craven points out that he was only doing his job and shouldn’t have to face a situation such as this for doing it.

When police arrived to arrest Leyland they search a wardrobe at the house and found 20 cannabis plants inside complete with lighting and a transformer. However only four of them were alive.

During the subsequent interview with police he said that although he had picked up the axe “at no time did he cause anyone to fear for his own safety.”

Leyland, of Stout Street, Leigh, admitted using threatening abusive or insulting words and behaviour with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence plus possessing cannabis and cannabis resin after plants and growing equipment were found in a wardrobe at his home.

He was given a 12 week prison sentence suspended for 12 months along with a nine month long probation supervision order with was no separate penalty for the drugs offence.

Colin Rawson, in mitigation, said that the dispute on Janaury 23 between Leyland and the builders had arisen because they had allegedly started working using noisy tool in the house next door before the 9am deadline.

He agreed that Leyland had confronted the builder but said that both had been swearing at one another as the debate between them became more heated.

And he felt threatened when two more builders appeared on the scene carrying tradesman’s tools.

He said: He foolishly picked up the axe but his arm was down by his side and there was no intention of swinging it around in a threatening manner.

“He says the two other men who had appeared on the scene were carrying tools so he picked up a tool just in case.”