Jail for Barnoldswick man who terrorised girl (14)

Michael Spencer

Michael Spencer

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A DRUNKEN thug from West Craven who went on a spree and terrorised several people, including a 14-year-old girl, has been locked up for almost three years.

Michael Spencer carried out a catalogue of crime over two months, after his long-term relationship fell apart.

In one incident, a man was seriously injured when he was savaged by a dog belonging to a man with the defendant. In another, Spencer turned up at a house at midnight, the schoolgirl opened the door and he produced a machete, causing her to run upstairs screaming, Burnley Crown Court was told.

The hearing was told Spencer, said to be a former successful show jumper, had begun his campaign of fear last December 29th when he argued with a woman he had had consensual sex with in the early hours, locked the door and produced a Stanley knife.

He told the victim: “I know how to use it. I will cut you up. I’m not scared.”

Spencer (29), of Unity Street, Barnoldswick, was jailed for a total of 34 months. He had been convicted of possessing a bladed article, common assault, wounding, affray and possessing an offensive weapon.

The court was told after the offences last December, the defendant was arrested and bailed. Then, on January 8th, he went to the house of a man he claimed was selling drugs in the early hours. When the victim came to the door, Spencer hit him, causing a cut to his left eyebrow. The man with him had a dog with him, which caused the victim serious injuries, but both the defendant and the other man were cleared by a jury of setting the animal on the victim.

Spencer was not arrested for the assault immediately and on January 28th, went to the 14-year-old’s house in Barnoldswick at midnight, asking to speak to a man there. The defendant, who believed the man was behind an attack on him, was told the man would not go outside. He then produced a machete from his jacket and began waving it around and making threats to harm the occupants. The girl ran upstairs to call the police.

Mr James Heyworth, for Spencer, said the offences occurred during a “black” period in the defendant’s life.

He had been in a stable relationship for six years, it broke down and what happened afterwards was a “significant fall from grace.”

Mr Heyworth said the offences were “an inexcusable period of behaviour by this man.”

The barrister continued: “Unfortunately for Michael Spencer and others around him, he dealt with the collapse of his relationship by drinking to excess and also, on occasions, taking cocaine.”

Sentencing, Recorder John Gibson told the defendant he had terrorised people after being fuelled by drink on all three occasions. He said of the incident at the girl’s home: “It’s undoubtedly the case they must have been very frightened as a result of your arrival at their home at midnight.”