Out of chances: jail for Rugby man who wielded hammer and knife

editorial image

A YOUNG Rugby man has been jailed after brandishing a knife and a hammer as he threatened a support worker at the YMCA hostel where he was living.

Lee Whiteside had been committed to Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty at Nuneaton magistrates court to a charge of making threats to kill.

Whiteside, 18, of Ferndown Road, was jailed for nine months.

Prosecutor Lal Amarasinghe said that on May 27 a support worker was working overnight at the Craven Road hostel.

Whiteside returned at just after midnight. He spoke to the worker about problems he was having with other people at the hostel.

He asked for a drink of water, and the support worker told him to help himself. But after going over to the dispenser, Whiteside turned and said there was no water in it.

He then took out a ten-inch kitchen knife from the waistband of his trousers and, brandishing it in the air, told the support worker: “I’ll kill you tonight.”

The frightened support worker ran to the far corner of the office and picked up a chair to use to defend himself.

At that, Whiteside threw the knife down on the floor – only to produce a claw hammer. But he soon dropped that as well and ran out of the building.

The support worker was too scared to leave the office to make sure Whiteside had gone, and locked the office door before calling the hostel manager.

Whiteside had 12 previous convictions for 15 offences and was subject to a community order at the time. Robert Hodgkinson, defending, said: “The problem is that he suffers from depression and was on medication for that; but he had run out on the day of the offence and, foolishly, went drinking instead.

Sentencing Whiteside, Judge Marten Coates, who was handed a letter from him, told Whiteside: “You’ve had chance after chance, and I’m afraid it stops here.”