A Rugby man sliced off a car’s wing mirror with a Samurai sword in a road-rage incident after other drivers reacted to him forcing his way back into a queue of traffic.
And at Warwick Crown Court, Stephen Hill (42) of Hoskyn Close, Rugby, was jailed for 14 months after pleading guilty to causing damage and possessing an offensive weapon.
Prosecutor Andrew Tucker said that at around 4pm on November 16 last year Hill was in a hurry to visit his elderly and unwell mother in hospital.
In Craven Road he found his way hindered by a queue of slow-moving traffic, so he impatiently pulled out and overtook a line of cars before finding his way was blocked.
And when he then tried to force his way back in, it triggered a reaction from other motorists who had been waiting patiently in the queue.
The female victim, who was inconvenienced by him forcing his way back into the queue in front of her car, sounded her horn.
Having pulled back in, Hill drove across a junction ahead of them at speed, but then slowed down and stopped.
He got out of his car, and as the victim looked over as she drove past, she saw him brandishing a Samurai sword.
“He said ‘Do you want to f***ing start?’ and took a swing at her car with the sword, breaking off her wing mirror.
“She was absolutely terrified. She drove off and stopped further on. She was shaking, and she was assisted to call the police,” said Mr Tucker.
Hill had driven off and disposed of the sword, but was traced by his car number and arrested.
At first he claimed it had been a wooden practice sword – but that was a lie, and after he showed the police where he had hidden it on a car park, they found it had a 21-inch blade.
Mr Tucker added that Hill had previous convictions for dishonesty, drugs offences and causing damage.
Jamie Strong, defending, said: “His record is one of someone who’s class A drug dependent, which he has been for some time. He’s not someone who has a propensity to be violent.”
Mr Strong said that Hill had been on his way to visit his mother in hospital, and he had other drug-related and work-related issues at the time, making him particularly stressed.
“He is the first person to accept the lady in the car would have been absolutely terrified. He had the good grace when he was interviewed by the police to offer her an apology.
“He initially told lies about the weapon, but they would not have recovered it if he had not taken them to it,” pointed out Mr Strong.
Jailing Hill Judge Anthony Potter told him: “On Friday the 16th of November you were driving round with a 21-inch-bladed Samurai sword in the boot of your car.
“If that wasn’t bad enough, when other road-users didn’t comply with your impatient demands to let you in you, who I accept were under a degree of stress, reacted in an aggressive manner.
“You had absolutely no right to pull over and produce the weapon. You cannot be remotely surprised to hear that [the victim] was absolutely terrified.
“You used the weapon to damage her car. There is absolutely no excuse for your conduct. She was physically shaking.
“You committed this offence against a background of an epidemic of knife crime up and down the country.
“The mitigation is really your guilty plea and the fact that you did co-operate with the police. You told futile lies about the weapon, but they would not have recovered it if you hadn’t told them where to find it.”