Put-off jail term for sword man

Christopher Bidmead

Christopher Bidmead

First published in News by

AFTER traumatising a woman neighbour by trying to get into her home, Christopher Bidmead frightened another two neighbours with an antique cavalry sword, a court heard.

A drunken Bidmead’s outburst came after he got upset about rumours which he believed were being spread about him by neighbour Carly Townsend, Gloucester Crown Court was told on Thursday.

Bidmead, aged 30, formerly of Windyridge, Bisley, but now of Felin Abermad, Llanilar, Aberystwyth, admitted charges of affray and possession of a bladed article on July 31 last year in Bisley.

The judge, Recorder Michael Gibney, made a three-year restraining order requiring Bidmead not to contact or go near Ms Townsend or another Bisley couple, Sharon and Michael Waite, who are the grandparents of Bidmead’s two children.

The Recorder sentenced Bidmead to nine months’ jail suspended for two years, ordered him to do 150 hours of unpaid work and also imposed a £60 victim surcharge.

“You clearly terrified her. The courts take a very dim view of anyone being in possession of an offensive weapon.”

Julian Kesner, prosecuting, said Ms Townsend was at home at 9am on July 31 when she heard a knock at the door and saw Bidmead’s face pressed against the glass. She opened the door and saw that he looked angry and she tried to pacify him but he swore at her.

As she went to shut the door he put his foot in it but she still managed to close and lock it.

“He then tried the front door handle and then started shouting at her,” Mr Kesner said, “”He followed that up by banging both the window and the front door hard.”

Ms Townsend tried to ring 999 but could not get a signal on her mobile phone. She texted Mr and Mrs Waite, who lived nearby, asking for their help.

She then saw Bidmead climbing over the wall back into his own garden. She saw what looked like a long pole in his hand as he did so, Mr Kesner said. In fact, he said, it was the sword.

Mr and Mrs Waite, whose daughter used to be in a relationship with Bidmead and has two children with him then drove to the house, Mr Kesner said.

They saw him standing in the road and approached him. He was sitting in his car with the door open and holding up the sword in his hand.

“Mrs Waite feared for her safety and that of her husband,” Mr Kesner said. “She grabbed the sword blade, which is blunt, and he then dropped it. She and her husband then tried to calm him down. Minutes later the police arrived and the defendant threw the sword into an outbuilding.”

Tim Burrows, defending, said Bidmead had only ever been in trouble for drink-driving 11-12 years ago. He had moved to Aberystwyth last August and had now settled there, he said.

“There had been a dispute between himself and his neighbour. He had a few drinks which affected his judgement.”

Mr Burrows said the sword was in the boot of Bidmead’s car because it was to be sold on behalf of his father. He got it out and sat in the car with it but did no more with it than that.

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