Man threatened to chop off woman's toes, break her ribs and killer with axe on Derbyshire street

A man threatened to chop a woman's toes off with an axe he was waving around on a Derbyshire street, a court heard.

Wednesday, 6th June 2018, 10:46 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th June 2018, 10:52 am
He threatened to cut off the woman's toes, break her ribs and kill her with an axe.
He threatened to cut off the woman's toes, break her ribs and kill her with an axe.

David Minshull also attacked the victim with a broom and told her he would "kill her" and "break her ribs" with the axe.

The 29-year-old hit the woman with the brush on her head, hand and back in her own home.

The victim then went out on to the street, and Minshull followed, grabbing the axe and making threats in front of members of the public, who called police, Derby Crown Court heard.

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Sentencing Minshull, Judge Shaun Smith QC said: "You are a bully, you are a control freak, you are obsessive and that's a problem.

"You subjected this woman to an horrific incident.

"You started by throwing a bottle of Coke at her and then you took a brush and started hitting her with it, causing her injuries.

"That is bad enough but you did not stop there because you decided to pick up an axe with children present and started swinging it around saying you were going to kill her, break the ribs and chop off the toes of the woman.

"As a result she is terrified what might happen to her."

Prosecutor Mark Achurch said the incident occurred on April 15 when Minshull went to the address, where he snatched the victim's mobile phone from her before picking up the broom.

He added: "He came at her with the sweeping brush hitting her to the hand, head and back.

"That caused her to go outside and he left the property with an axe.

"He was swinging it around saying he would kill her with it.

"She ran off and he chased her for around 30 seconds.

"Other people present describe him making threats how he would break her ribs and chop her toes off with the axe."

Concerned neighbours called police who arrived a short time later, Mr Achurch told the court.

He said: "The woman told the officer 'he is going to kill me because you are here'."

In a victim personal statement, read out in court by Mr Achurch, the woman said she felt “physically and emotionally drained” by the encounters with Minshull.

She said: “I am petrified of what he might do to me, I have lost a lot of weight because of what has happened to me and I will have trouble trusting anyone again.”

Minshull, pleaded guilty to assault, affray and for production of cannabis – a charge that relates to the discovery of six plants found by police growing in an outbuilding as part of their investigations.

He was handed a 14-month jail term, suspended for two years, and a five-year restraining order forbidding him from contacting the woman directly or indirectly.

Judge Smith QC also ordered father-of-two Minshull, of Priest Avenue, Mansfield, to carry out 200 hours unpaid work, and 15 rehabilitation days with the probation service.

He said: “I will give somebody a chance once and if you don’t take it you are going to prison.”

Will Bennett, for Minshull, said his client had been working inside prison for the past two months while he was remanded in custody awaiting sentence.

He said: “He has written a letter saying he sincerely and profoundly apologises to the people who his actions have affected.

“His partner is pregnant and if he is given custody he will miss the birth of his child.

“If that’s the outcome he knows that’s his own fault.”