Published: 00:00, 30 April 2015
| Updated: 11:46, 30 April 2015
An Ashford dad-of-three avoided jail despite arming himself with a samurai sword and chasing off two bailiffs.
Instead of handing over the keys to his partner’s car, Lewis Bedford grabbed his samurai sword and went on the warpath.
He chased bailiffs Dale Challis and Paul Newbury into the street near his home Kilndown Close, Stanhope, wielding the weapon after they had called one morning in June last year.
Furious Bedford banged on the car window shouting: “I’ll chop you up, you coward!” after the bailiffs had retreated to their car, Canterbury Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Hilary Lennox told how Mr Challis drove away from the area a short distance, only to discover Lewis had jumped into his wife’s car and followed them.
She said that he then repeated his threats to “chop up” the bailiffs who had been sent to Bedford’s house on legitimate legal business.
But minutes before the trial was due to begin the out-of-work construction worker changed his pleas to guilty to affray and possessing an offensive weapon.
His lawyer, Phil Rowley explained that initially the Bedfords thought “it was a scam” after the men demanded payment for £810.
To prove they were there legally, Mr Challis produced a photograph of Bedford’s partner which she believed might have been taken from her Facebook account.
Mr Rowley said that angered the couple and Bedford lost his temper and chased the two bailiffs away.
“This was clearly a very unpleasant incident undoubtedly involving men who were carrying out their lawful duty and should not have been subjected to violence.
“But there can be no doubt that if he was to receive an immediate custodial sentence that over and above the immediate punishment he would receive, there would be a substantial impact on his wife and children.”
Bedford was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work for the community.