An out-of-control manager armed with a piece of timber threatened a colleague after a long-running dispute.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Thursday, November 9, how Michael Hewitt, 64, of The Dale, Bonsal, near Matlock, swung the timber at a fork lift truck before pointing it at his colleague.
Prosecuting solicitor Robert Carr said the complainant and the defendant were both working for Lawson Haulage at the time and there had been an altercation about the complainant’s work van and the complainant received a message saying the defendant would be having words with him.
The complainant was on site at the Whittington Engineering Complex, in Chesterfield, at a later stage, according to Mr Carr, and he was on his mobile phone to suppliers when he was approached by Hewitt.
Mr Carr said the complainant saw Hewitt standing in the doorway of a warehouse with a length of timber and despite being on the phone for ten to fifteen minutes Hewitt stood there staring at him.
The defendant approached the complainant and made a comment about having previously mentioned the “next time he saw him”, according to Mr Carr, and he swung the timber to the side of the fork lift truck.
Mr Carr added that Hewitt told the complainant he had five minutes to get out or he would come for him as he pointed the timber at him.
The defendant told police there had been an issue and he accepted approaching the complainant and making threats and that he had the timber in his hand.
Hewitt argued to police that the complainant was supposed to be helping him in Chesterfield but he had not been doing so which had forced him to lose his temper.
The defendant, who has no previous convictions, put the incident down to “banter” but his employers did not agree.
Hewitt pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour after the incident on July 25.
Defence solicitor Steve Brint explained that the defendant is a manager and the complainant is a delivery driver.
Hewitt had expressed concerns about the complainant’s work ethic and attitude, according to Mr Brint, which had not been acted upon.
Mr Brint added: “There was a confrontation when Hewitt asked the complainant what he was doing and he said mind your own business and Mr Hewitt accepts he had an outburst.
“There was no intention to follow it up and he reported the matter to his manager by email.”
Magistrates sentenced Hewitt to a six-month conditional discharge but warned that if he commits any new offence in the next six months he will be re-sentenced for the threatening behaviour.
Hewitt was also ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs.