Axeman threw tins of potatoes at terrified mum’s home and threatened to burn it down

Axeman threw tins of potatoes at terrified mum’s home and threatened to burn it down

An axeman threatened to burn a mum’s house down after throwing tins of potatoes at her windows.

William Storey, 59, from Sunderland, targeted the woman’s home after falling out with her partner in the months before the attack, Chronicle Live reports.

The mother now sleeps downstairs with a bucket of water next to the letter box in case anyone tries to set fire to her home.

She now fears taking her children to school as the route runs past the Storey’s home.

During the terrifying episode, Storey “shouted and remonstrated” with strangers in the street while armed with the axe.

The mum said in a victim statement read to Newcastle Crown Court: “I am absolutely terrified as a result of this man’s behaviour towards me.

“I am ill from it, worried sick.

“I am scared of taking my children to school as the route is past his house.

“I cannot sleep and I cannot rest. I sleep downstairs on the sofa with a bucket of water next to the letter box, ready to put out fires, to protect my children.

“He has no right to make me feel like this, I just want this to stop.”

Kate Barnes, prosecuting, told the court there had been “difficulties” in the two to three months before May 28 last year.

Miss Barnes told the court: “The problems, she thinks, stemmed from an argument he had with her partner on an earlier occasion.

“Matters came to a head on May 28 when she heard banging noises coming from downstairs.

“She discovered Mr Storey had thrown three tins of potatoes at her downstairs windows, fortunately causing no damage.

“Her partner went outside to challenge Mr Storey.”

The court heard Storey left the area but returned a while later, with a carrier bag.

Miss Barnes added: “He held the carrier bag up towards their home and removed from it an axe.”

The court heard the mum’s partner was at an upstairs window and shouted for Storey to leave.

Miss Barnes said: “At that point she heard Mr Storey saying he was going to burn down the house.”

Storey’s behaviour was caught on CCTV and showed him holding an axe as he crossed back and forward onto the road, shouting and remonstrating with passers-by.

Miss Barnes added: “He used the axe to whack a lamp post and bin.”

Storey, of Ashbrook, Sunderland, admitted attempted criminal damage, possessing a bladed article, threatening criminal damage and a public order offence.

Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced him to 13 months behind bars and imposed a five-year restraining order to keep him away from the mum’s house.

The judge told him: “You were clearly acting erratically and unpredictably.

“In her victim statement she said ‘it was terrifying, this has made me worried and ill, I have been worried about my children, I have been jumpy and anxious, I just want all this to stop’.”

Jamie Adams, defending, said the trouble stemmed from Storey accusing the woman’s partner of dealing drugs, which is not accepted by the prosecutors.

Mr Adams added: “Thankfully, he has done something about this, in that he and his partner have moved out of the area and they have gone to a much quieter part of Sunderland.

“There has not been any further incidents at all.”

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