Chesterfield car salesman threatened to shoot workmates in brawl at garage

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A car salesman who threatened to kill his workmates with a shotgun after brawling in a garage "went off his head" over a "silly argument about a football sticker," a court has heard.

John Thompson became irate following “ongoing banter” about a Liverpool FC sticker at the Ron Brooks car dealership, on Oak Tree Lane, on October 24.

Prosecutor Becky Allsop said he flung the keys to his company car at a sales manager and said: “Now I don’t work here I can sort that c*** out and all his mates.”

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He called his colleagues p****** and shouted: “We will go outside and fight like men. I will smash your f****** head in."

The Ron Brooks car dealership on Oak Tree Lane, Mansfield. (Picture: Google Earth.)The Ron Brooks car dealership on Oak Tree Lane, Mansfield. (Picture: Google Earth.)
The Ron Brooks car dealership on Oak Tree Lane, Mansfield. (Picture: Google Earth.)

Thompson, aged 51, of Inkersall Green Road, Inkersall, grabbed one man by the throat and shoved him into tool lockers before punching him in the mouth.

Five members of staff tried to intervene and Thompson hit one of them in the head, breaking his glasses.

He shouted: “You’re all mugs. I will take you all and smash your faces in. I will bring a shotgun at 5pm.”

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Thompson made a phone call and asked, “What tools have you got?” A male voice was overheard saying: “I will find something and be right there.”

One staff member said he was alarmed because he understood Thompson has access to guns, and “was fearful of reprisals because of Thompson’s connections with Travellers.”

When he was stopped by a police officer on Southwell Road West Thompson refused to be handcuffed and clung to a fence, even though he was hit several times and PAVA spray was used. He was eventually arrested when more officers arrived and cannabis was discovered in his garden shed.

He later claimed what he said was misinterpreted but it was quite clear he arranged to have a gun brought down, Ms Allsop added.

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Donna Pursglove, mitigating, said Thompson, a dad-of-two and of previous good character, thinks he had a breakdown, after struggling with family pressures and his father’s death.

“The altercation was not completely unprovoked,” she said. “He fully accepts this should never have happened. He was immediately sacked.”

Thompson admitted two counts of assault, making threats, resisting an officer and possession of cannabis, at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Wednesday.

Sentencing was adjourned for probation reports until November 21.