Tattoo shop customer jailed after wielding axe at staff
STAFF at a tattoo shop were left "utterly terrified" when a menacing customer suddenly returned – wielding a fearsome axe – and angrily threatened to cause damage.
He raised the axe above his head and smashed it down on a counter during a furious rage, Grimsby Crown Court heard.
Barry Mussell, 51, of Duncombe Street, Grimsby, admitted possessing an axe as an offensive weapon, affray, theft and possessing cannabis on August 7.
Laurinda Bower, prosecuting, said Mussell went to the Tattoo Shack, in Freeman Street, Grimsby, and had a tattoo put on his neck.
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Staff later discovered that items, including a mobile phone, belonging to Dave Williams, were missing and realised that Mussell must have stolen them.
They chased after Mussell and accused him of taking a wallet. He denied it and emptied his pockets but he was later found trying to sell the mobile phone.
Mussell returned to the shop with a 2ft-long axe and threatened to cause damage to vehicles.
"He raised the axe above his head and brought it down, smashing a glass ornament tiger on the front counter," said Miss Bower.
Police later found him hiding in a cupboard in his living room. A 3ft-long felling axe was there and he had a small amount of cannabis on him.
Mussell later claimed he had been assaulted by two men from the shop over the theft. He denied waving the axe about.
Recorder Julian Goose QC told Mussell: "The people inside the shop must have been utterly terrified by you coming in, shouting and swearing, and threatening to cause damage with that axe."
It was an "extremely frightening weapon" to be brought out in a public place, he added.
Mussell admitted breaching a community order, including supervision and a curfew, imposed on July 16 for an assault in which he threw frozen food at a shop worker, hitting his head.
"People would be shocked if I didn't send you straight to prison," said Recorder Goose.
Mussell was jailed for ten months. The sentence included a consecutive two months for breaching the community order.