County Down man launched 'frenzied attack' on neighbour's 'exotic plants' and judge asked: 'Why on earth do you possess a machete? You don't live in deepest Borneo'

County Down man launched 'frenzied attack' on neighbour's 'exotic plants' and judge asked: 'Why on earth do you possess a machete? You don't live in deepest Borneo'

A NEWTOWNARDS man had admitted using a machete in a "frenzied" attack to damage what were described on a charge sheet as 'exotic plants' belonging to a neighbour.

David Richard Brown (36), of Spelga Place, admitted criminal damage and also pleaded guilty to possessing a machete with intent to commit criminal damage on July 31 last year.

At Newtownards Magistrates Court, District Judge Mark Hamill asked: "Why on earth do you possess a machete? You don't live in deepest Borneo."

A defence lawyer said it was a "neighbour dispute" and the defendant had used the machete to "cut plants" which were overhanging.

He said the defendant had complained about the issue on a number of occasions and then "took matters into his own hands".

Judge Hamill said in a statement the neighbour had described it as a "frenzied attack on his trees".

The judge ordered the machete to be destroyed.

He said: "There is someone in a public place with a machete carrying out a frenzied attack on trees. If this had run as a contest the chances of immediate custody would have been pretty close but I am going to try and endeavour and see what was behind this and what was this man's mental state".

The judge added: "One of the most serious charges to come before this court is possession of a weapon, a machete is particularly worrisome. Terribly worrying, wielding a machete in public."

Judge Hamill said there had also been reference to the defendant having a "head injury".

He added: "The thought of someone with a head injury wielding a machete in public is deeply worrying."

The case was adjourned to the end of April for a pre-sentence report and the defendant was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to the victim.

  • Main picture: A general image of a jungle scene.