Man suffering ‘psychosis’ attacked neighbour’s door with axe in scene akin to ‘horror movie’

An axe-wielding man threatening a neighbour in a scene like a ‘horror movie’ told his victim: ‘I’m going to split your head.’

Saturday, 8th May 2021, 9:46 am
Portsmouth Crown Court Picture: César Moreno Huerta

Daniel Talbot, 33, appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court over the incident in August during which he was suffering from psychosis.

In what a judge said was a scene ‘almost like out of a horror movie’ Talbot battered his neighbour Andrew Cairn’s flat door with the weapon at around 2pm.

Mr Cairns awoke from bed after hearing ‘somebody loudly banging on his front door’ in a way that sounded like a person was ‘trying to break down the door’.

He looked through a spyhole, seeing his neighbour, but opened the door fearing Talbot would just continue if unchallenged.

It was only then he realised Talbot - who is currently being held under the Mental Health Act - was wielding the menacing axe.

Sarah Lindop, prosecuting Talbot, said out in the corridor Talbot threatened Mr Cairns at the block in Littlehampton, putting him in fear.

She said Talbot told the victim: ‘I’ll put this... axe through your head.’

It was ‘clearly a very frightening incident,’ Ms Lindop told the court. The victim has been left ‘anxious’ and no longer wants Talbot as a neighbour at the block, which caters for people with mental health problems.

The judge, Recorder Elisabeth Bussey-Jones, said the incident was a ‘complete nightmare for Mr Cairns’.

The yellow-handled axe, which left gouges in the victim’s door, was a ‘particularly terrifying weapon,’ she said.

Pierce Power, for Talbot, who is being held at Connolly House in Chichester, ‘heard voices coming through the ceiling’ that were not the sound of the victim.

During the hearing Talbot denied making any threats, but Mr Power said his client remembered little from that day - August 18, 2020.

Talbot, who has five previous convictions, admitted affray and criminal damage.

He was handed an eight-month jail term suspended for 18 months with 20 days’ rehabilitation activities to complete.

He was released from the courtroom dock on Friday into the care of waiting nurses from the mental health unit based in Chichester.