‘Slasher’ lost his temper while carrying out his community work
AN ex-soldier sentenced earlier this year for slashing people with a saw landed himself back in court after losing his temper carrying out community work.
Mark Burgess was given a suspended sentence in January for threatening people with an 18-inch builder’s saw when he could not get a drink at a Cardiff bar after closing time.
Speaking at Cardiff Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Jenkins described the defendant’s behaviour as “worrying”.
The original incident occurred at the Miss Jones bar in Merthyr Road on November 6 last year.
The court heard the 36-year-old was under the influence of alcohol when he decided to drive his work van home and stopped off in Whitchurch as the bar was closing after he spent the day of the Wales v Australia autumn international in the city centre.
Witnesses described the defendant shouting threats and banging on windows when he could not get in.
In a subsequent police interview, Burgess told officers people coming out of the bar were abusive towards him.
Prosecutors said there was “pushing and shoving” before the defendant went to get the saw from his van.
A nearby CCTV camera captured the incident and Burgess could be seen brandishing the weapon, swinging the saw “violently”, making “slashing” motions.
The court heard one man suffered an arm wound that required four stitches, while his girlfriend received cuts to her hands.
Burgess was arrested and a roadside breath test showed he had 61mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35mg.
Burgess was given a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, after admitting drink-driving, making threats with an offensive weapon and unlawful wounding. He was disqualified from driving for a year and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work, as well as paying £300 in costs.
But his case was listed for a committal for breaches after he failed to comply with the order.
The court heard he verbally abused a probation officer while carrying out the unpaid work.
Mr Rees said his client, from Washford Avenue, Llanrumney, had bought his own tools to complete the unpaid work and lost his temper when they went missing. He told the court Burgess returned to apologise, adding: “He saw the error of his ways.”
Judge Jenkins told the defendant he was “disappointed” but concluded the incident was “a blip” prompted by frustration. He revoked the original order and fined Burgess £250, ordering him to complete 10 days of a rehabilitation activity instead. He must also pay £150 towards prosecution costs.