Bailiff Axe attacker avoids Jail

bailiff attacked whilst trying to collect debt

Two Bailiffs endured a horrific 25 minute ‘terrifying’ attack from a Debtor who attacked them with an Axe as well as threatening them with a chainsaw a court has heard.

Johnathon Hepton aged 58 was appearing in Northampton Crown Court a few weeks ago on charges of making threats to kill and affray.

The Two victims as it were, Bailiffs who are brothers, attended Mr Hepton’s property in the picturesque village of Norton near Daventry on January 8th 2018. Their visit was to collect a £16,000 Debt for unpaid council tax on behalf of Daventry District Council.

The Brothers working on behalf of a Private Debt Collection Enforcement firm caught the full incident on their body cams. The Court watched the footage taken as the Bailiffs asked Mr Hepton how he intended to pay the debt to which he responded “No chance, not at this time of night”

One of the Bailiffs then managed to get into the property and blocked the door but Mr Hepton then attacked him with an axe, hitting one of them through a gap in the door, causing his arm to bleed.

The video shown in the court room then shows the Bailiffs calling the Police whilst his brother and Hepton were outside the property.

Mr Hepton’s wife could be heard screaming on the footage taken saying Stop it John, Stop it, please clam down, you’re scaring me” His wife managed to get the axe off the defendant who then produced a chainsaw which he started up and began to further threaten the Bailiffs.

The Police then arrived and Mr Hepton was arrested and taken into custody.

The Court heard how Mr Hepton only had one previous conviction and that was for drink driving which happened shortly after this incident in May 2018.

The Court also heard that the Defendant had started to pay back the debt in instalments.

The Prosecution stated that Mr Hepton knew exactly why the Bailiffs would have been at the property so it should not have been that much of a shock for them to have attended.

The Defendants representative said his client had acknowledged his behaviour was unacceptable and he was acting in a state of panic. He also stated that Mr Hepton did lots of volunteer work within the local community.

Presiding over the case, Judge Rebecca Crane accepted that it was out of character for the defendant by saying “Given your previous good character, there’s a realistic prospect of rehabilitation”

Judge Crane sentenced Mr Hepton to two 24 month sentences to run consecutively that are suspended for 18 months. This means that Mr Hepton would not go to jail but would do so if he commits any further offences in the next year and a half.

As part of his sentence, he was ordered to complete 20 days of rehabilitation, 160 hours of community service and pay £650 compensation to one of the Bailiffs.

News Story sourced from Daventry Express



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