Mentally-ill Derbyshire man is banned from his former flats after he threatened to blow them up

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A mentally-ill man who threatened to blow up his former block of council flats because he was struggling with anti-social residents has been banned from the neighbourhood.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on August 28 how Stefan Knighton, 44, formerly of Mercaston Close, Holme Hall, Chesterfield, twice contacted a Chesterfield Borough Council tenancy worker to complain and told them he was going to blow up his block of flats.

Becky Allsop, prosecuting, told a previous hearing Knighton had complained in a text about two tenants and said he would, “blow us to Kingdom come”, and in a second text he stated, “that idiot upstairs is making me not a good person”, and he added, “I will have no option but to blow us up”.

Mrs Allsop added that when council staff visited Knighton’s flat they found he had cut a gas pipe in his kitchen and Knighton had previously damaged gas in the flat but since then the supply had been capped-off.

The court heard Knighton has mental health issues and he had complained about other residents but he had not used the gas because he said he does not trust what he cannot see.

Knighton, now of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to two counts of threatening to blow up the Chesterfield Borough Council block of flats at Mercaston Close from July 25 and August 6.

He also admitted cutting the gas pipe from between August 5 and 9.

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Defence solicitor David Gittins told a previous hearing that Knighton suffers from a split-personality disorder and psychosis and his behaviour was a cry for help.

Mr Gittins added that Knighton has suffered difficulties with two particular tenants who are known to the court.

Knighton was sentenced to a community order to last until February 27, 2020, with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement of up to 12 days.

He was also given a six-month exclusion requirement not to enter Mercaston Close, at Holme Hall, Chesterfield, except to collect belongings while accompanied by a Chesterfield Borough Council representative.

Knighton was fined £40 and must pay a £90 victim surcharge and £85 costs.