A man who confronted a sex offender with an axe has been found guilty and is due to be sentenced today.
Gavin Miller, 36, of Rawthorpe, “waved an axe around” which led to some of his neighbours fearing for their safety.
The drama happened at Miller’s former home in Cleckheaton, on the evening of Saturday, June 17.
Mr Miller, of Brownroyd Avenue, Rawthorpe, was found guilty at a trial at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Monday) of two charges of possessing an axe which doubled as a hammer and of using threatening and abusive behaviour with the intent of causing fear of violence.
Prosecutor Edward Johnson said the defendant’s behaviour had led to sex offender Craig McGreavy bolting his door in fear.
He said: “The incident happened at a block of flats at 7.30pm. The complainant, Craig McGreavy, was out walking his dogs when the defendant began shouting at him and asked him to go up to the defendant’s flat.
“He was alarmed at being confronted with an allegation about him being a sex offender. The defendant asked him more and more questions and he became more and more uncomfortable.
“The defendant followed him back to his flat and began shouting and banging on the door.”
Giving evidence from behind a screen, Mr McGreavy said he had lived at the block of flats for 13 years and that the defendant lived two floors above him.
He said that on the day in question that he had been out walking his dogs when the defendant shouted “that he needed to have a word with me.”
Mr Johnson asked him: “What did he say to you?”
Mr McGreavy: “He said: ‘Can you come up to Flat 15, we need to have a chat?’ I felt scared. Then he asked me about being on the Sex Offenders Register.”
Mr Johnson: “How did that conversation come to an end?
Mr McGreavy: “I told him to f... off and walked away. I was walking pretty quickly and he was walking just as quickly.”
Mr Johnson: “Can you describe the defendant at this point?”
Mr McGreavy: “He looked rather angry to be honest. I shut the bolts on my door. I was scared. I was extremely scared at that stage. My anxiety levels were rather high. He was right in front of my door. I have CCTV.”
Mr Johnson: “What did he do?”
Mr McGreavy: “After banging on the door he decided to go upstairs and began mouthing off to everyone else.”
Mr Johnson: “How long did he bang on the door?”
Mr McGreavy: “For a minute but it seemed much longer than that. I kept quiet.”
The court then heard that Miller’s neighbours – husband and wife Lloyd and Sally Crockford and John Ball – became involved before police arrived.
The court heard that the defendant suffered from severe mental health issues and had major drug problems. Giving evidence the defendant said that as a “vulnerable adult” he knew what it was like to be “weak and vulnerable” hence his preoccupation with his neighbour’s alleged sex offending.
After finding him guilty on both counts, chairman of the bench, Anthea Ainley, said the defendant would be sentenced today (Tuesday) and released him on conditional bail.