Woman forced to lock herself in house garage as son rampages with hammer demanding cash

Ballymena Magistrates Court

A woman was forced to lock herself in a garage as her son clutched a hammer and threatened to wreck a house if he wasn’t given money, Ballymena Magistrates Court heard on Thursday.

Gary Hutchinson (32), of Shandon Park, Ballymena, was sentenced to five months in jail for the rampage which happened last month.

At one stage, the court heard, Hutchinson caused his mother to get so scared she locked herself in a garage as Hutchinson lifted a hammer and threatened to cause damage.

A prosecutor said at that point it was felt it best to give Hutchinson £40 and police were then called.

The court was told that a few days later Hutchinson had asked his dad for £30 and was told he did not have any money on him to lend him.

The defendant’s dad left and when he returned home Hutchinson again demanded cash and said if he didn’t get it he would “bust this place”.

Hutchinson did a countdown saying his dad had twenty minutes and then two minutes to pay up but his father said he wasn’t giving him any more money and to leave him alone.

Defence barrister Michael Smyth said there was “clearly work to be done” to address the defendant being confrontational with his parents but that family members hoped there could be progress.

Hutchinson, who had a record, was sentenced in connection with charges of common assault; making threats to damage property; having an offensive weapon with intent to commit criminal damage and breaching a Restraining Order.

District Judge Nigel Broderick told the defendant, who appeared at the court via video link from Maghaberry Jail: “This isn’t the first time that you have visited violence upon your parents”.

Jailing Hutchinson for five months the judge said the court had previously given him a chance but he had not taken it.

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