A dispute over taxi money led to an offender threatening a man with a machete outside a Sittingbourne pub.
James Hilden, also known as Jimmy, produced the weapon after the victim refused to give him money for a lift home in October 2018. He later visited the victim’s house and intentionally drove into five vehicles parked on their drive.
The 54-year-old, of no fixed address, pleaded not guilty to threatening a person with a bladed article, affray and criminal damage. He was found guilty of each offence and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment by Maidstone Crown Court on Friday 24 May 2019.
The court heard that on the evening of Friday 26 October Hilden entered a pub in Chalkwell Road and bragged about threatening a man with a machete earlier that evening.
He then approached a customer, who he said he knew through mutual acquaintances.
Later that evening Hilden asked the customer, a man in his 20s, for £20 to cover the cost of a taxi. The man refused to provide the money and, in response, Hilden led him to a nearby pick-up truck and began to reach into his pocket.
The victim, who remembered Hilden had been bragging about using a machete earlier that evening, ran away because he feared the weapon would be used against him.
A friend of the victim then intervened and was swung at several times by Hilden, who was by this point holding a machete. No injuries were sustained from the altercation.
Later that night Hilden drove to the victim’s home and demanded to speak with one of their family members.
When they refused to come out, he pulled out his machete and slammed it on the bonnet of his own vehicle.
He then got into his vehicle and used it to drive into five parked cars before leaving the scene.
The incident was captured on privately held CCTV and Hilden was arrested the following evening. He was charged with possessing a bladed article, affray and criminal damage and his been remanded in custody since.
Detective Constable Dan Mead, the investigating officer for this case, said: ‘The nature of Hilden’s offending, and his willingness to threaten people with a machete, shows he presents a very real threat to the public.
‘There can be no tolerance for people who are willing to carry or use bladed weapons. Carrying a knife increases your chances of becoming a victim or, as this case shows, makes you more likely to commit a criminal offence and be imprisoned.’