A disabled man used his 4mph electric wheelchair to smash up a Transit van because two workmen had parked it outside his house, a court heard. Kurt Baron, 40, caused £2,000 of damage to the vehicle’s bodywork and narrowly missed a mother pushing a pram, forcing her and the baby into the road. He also deliberately crashed into barriers round a manhole where the two Electricity North West engineers were working before threatening them with a claw hammer, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Baron, who is wheelchair bound after breaking his back in a fall from a tree, admitted possessing an offensive weapon and criminal damage, but avoided jail.
The prosecution said his wheelchair rampage happened on October 30 last year after he had a row with a blind friend in his house in Nelson, Lancashire.
A window was smashed and his disabled companion fled the property complaining he had been attacked.
Engineers Paul Jeeves and Brett Schofield were outside working on underground cables and Baron then emerged from his house and rammed the barriers round their manhole, yelling: ‘I want that f****** van moved now.’
He was further enraged when the pair explained they were carrying out ‘essential works’, so he rammed three more barriers into the road, sending them towards oncoming vehicles.
A woman pushing a pram had to move into the path of oncoming traffic to avoid being run down.
Baron then went back into his house shouting ‘You have got five minutes to move the van.’
Mr Jeeves decided to move the vehicle a short distance away, but the defendant returned after five minutes and said: ‘Right, I’m going to smash windows.’
He then flew down the path towards them, wielding a hammer above his head, and rammed the passenger door of the van.
Mr Schofield took hold of him and told him to stop waving the hammer around.
After heading back towards the house he turned back towards the men, shouting: ‘You big lad, I’m going to wrap this hammer around your f****** head.’
Lisa Worsley, prosecuting, said: ‘He was aggressive, abusive and irate, was told to go back in the house, headed to his front door, turned the chair to face the van and threw the hammer at it.’
The engineers then called the police and Baron told the engineers when asked to give a statement: ‘ You better tell the truth or else. Your names will get on the statements and I will find out who you are, where you live and I will get you all.’
The court heard Baron had stabbed himself in the leg with a 12 inch knife while in his house and he told the court ‘Over the last five months, a lot has changed. All I want is a normal life.’
Baron was given a two year community order, with supervision.
The judge Mr Recorder Anthony Cross, QC, told him : ‘ It’s perfectly plain to me that a significant amount of your problems arise from the fact you fractured your spine when you fell out of a tree.
‘That has left you not only wheelchair-bound, but has caused you complex health, social, psychological and mental health problems. I am satisfied that it would be wholly wrong to jail you.’