NewsCrime Desk

Axe-wielding burglar has skull smashed by homeowner with baseball bat

Philip Wharton
Philip Wharton

42-year-old career criminal Philip Wharton was met with a nasty surprise when he broke into a house and ended up with a broken skull.

The householder, from Runcorn, England woke up to find Wharton, who has 29 convictions for drugs, meat theft and dishonesty, standing over his bed with an axe held above his head.

The man leapt up and grabbed a baseball bat from behind his bedside drawers.

Jayne Morris, prosecuting, said the "terrified" man moved towards Wharton, 42, of Dale Street, who backed away to the top of the stairs.

With just a bannister separating him and the defendant, who was still waving the axe above his head, and not knowing whether there were accomplices downstairs, the man swung the baseball bat and connected with Wharton’s head, reports the Liverpool Echo.

The burglar fell down the stars and was disarmed and held by the would-be victim until police arrived.

They found Wharton wearing gloves, carrying the victim’s wallet and discovered a foot print on the front door where he had kicked his way in.

When arrested the burglar told police that he was in the house ‘for the cannabis’ but later said in interview he had been taken to the house.

Wharton, who was already serving a community order for stealing £12 worth of meat, was sentenced to six years, reduced to eight due to his guilty plea.

Judge Neil Flewitt, presiding, told Wharton: You made your way upstairs and into the bedroom occupied by (the householder).

“At some point and from somewhere in the house before your confrontation you stole his wallet when you were in the bedroom you disturbed him and when he was roused he woke to find you standing over him with your right arm raised holding the axe.

“No explanation has been forthcoming as to why you were in those premises.

“The only reason clearly is that you went there to steal.

“You were wearing gloves when you were found.

“You took the axe to act as a deterrent to the householder should he awake and confront you as he did.

“Happily for you, you did not use that axe to cause injury but you used it to threaten (the householder) and he must have been terrified.

“You retreated to the top of the stairs holding the axe in a threatening manner.

“(The householder) struck out with the baseball bat which he kept in the premises.

“The consequence of the single blow was that you fell, fractured your skull and suffered other injuries from which you are still experiencing the consequences.”