A BRICKLAYER who went on the rampage with an axe in a row over allegedly 'unpaid wages' at building site in Willersey was jailed for four and half years.

Paul Stuchbury, of Amanda Drive, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to the aggravated burglary of the JCA construction site on Campden Lane, Willersey on Tuesday January 30.

Prosecutor Greg Gordon told the judge at Gloucester Crown Court, Recorder Jeremy Wright, that Stuchbury had stolen the axe he used during the disorder earlier that day from a B and Q store in Evesham.

Stuchbury had stolen the axe, along with other tools with an approximate value of £200 and assaulted a member of staff that tried to stop him at the DIY store.

Mr Gordon said that Stuchbury then drove straight to the construction site where he proceeded to cause mayhem, shouting that he was owed many thousands of pounds in what was described by the judge as deliberate, violent, terrifying and dishonest.

The court heard that Stuchbury had worked at the site but had been dismissed by the manager, David Griffiths, due to 'poor attendance' and 'being found on site with materials he shouldn't have'.

When Stuchbury returned armed with the stolen axe he was heard shouting: “You stole my baby's money” and “I want Dave. Tell him I want £4,000 tonight or he is dead.”

A worker, Adam Barnes, heard the commotion from the site office and saw Stuchbury removing items including a laptop he put in a bag.

“He then launched an entirely unprovoked attack on Mr Barnes, swinging his axe towards the head of Mr Barnes,” the prosecutor said.

“He then swung a second time towards the head of Mr Barnes. He missed and struck a van causing damage to it.”

Mr Gordon said a witness said Stuchbury used so much force 'it would have killed Mr Barnes if it had connected'.

Mr Barnes was able to run away, and eventually Stuchbury gave up the chase.

The prosecutor said “Bravely, Mr Barnes returned to the site office, and again the defendant ran at him with the axe.

“He thought he could see white powder, perhaps cocaine, around his nose and mouth,” Mr Gordon said.

Stuchbury shouted: “If I don't get my £5,000 [sic] someone is going to get smoked.”

Mr Gordon said that Stuchbury then caused significant damage to the site office, but was not able to provide a value.

The prosecutor said that the incident had 'quite some impact' on Mr Barnes.

Mr Gordon confirmed that Stuchbury had no previous convictions.

Charlotte Surley, representing Stuchbury, referred the judge to a report prepared by a psychiatrist.

She said that Stuchbury had 'undiagnosed bi-polar disorder'.

Although the psychiatric report did not recommend a hospital order, the judge said he would take the mental health background into account when sentencing Stuchbury.

Mrs Surley said it was: “Extremely unusual for a family man, in work, and aged 45 with no previous convictions to appear before a court for these offences.”

She said that Stuchbury's mental health had declined over the years, and although he tried to get treatment, he was not diagnosed with bi-polar disorder until after these offences.

The lawyer said her client was struggling to adjust to prison since being remanded in custody.

She referred the judge to many references that spoke of Stuchbury's good qualities and said there was an offer of work for him on his eventual release.

Mrs Surley accepted that there was no alternative to an immediate custodial sentence.

The judge said: “These offences are very serious indeed.

“Your conduct was violent, dishonest, terrifying and deliberate.

“I am aware of the mental health element of this case.

“It was no excuse but helps to explain why you acted in this way.”

The judge imposed four and half years for the aggravated burglary and concurrent sentences for the other offences, giving a total of four and half years.