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Thug chased and caught by barefoot owner of BMW he had damaged with hatchet

'I don't know Andrew Stevenson and I don't know why he came here armed with a hatchet to attack the car'
Andrew Stevenson (51) who was convicted of damaging a car and wielding a hatchet

Andrew Stevenson (51) who was convicted of damaging a car and wielding a hatchet

Steven Moore

This is the hopeless thug who was chased and caught by the barefoot owner of a BMW he'd just damaged with a hatchet.

Andrew Stevenson has been told he must turn up with £1,500 to pay for the damage after he used the hatchet to split open the roof of a BMW M4 car in a bizarre and unprovoked attack - otherwise he's going to jail.

The 51-year-old contested a charge of possessing an offensive weapon but admitted criminal damage after he drove more than ten miles from his home in Killycavan Court, Dungannon, to the scene of the attack in Armagh.

In a bizarre incident Stevenson, wearing a balaclava, was chased, fell over a 6ft wall, injuring himself badly, and was reported to have spent three weeks in hospital.

When he came around in a Belfast hospital he told cops he'd been chased and beaten by a group of men after falling over a high wall.

He'd been caught in the act by the owner of the luxury sports car who wasn't wearing any footwear and still managed to chase down the masked muppet and detain him - even though he was armed with a hatchet

Stevenson claimed he was assaulted after he was apprehended.

When we called at his door, he was not in the mood to talk about the case.

However, he said he wanted to make it clear he wasn't happy with how the PSNI dealt with the unusual case.

"I don't want to comment on the case, but I can tell you the police are an absolute disgrace for the way they've handled this," he claimed.

The 51-year-old's barrister previously told court that his client had only used the weapon after being pursued by the injured party, stating that he had been in "flight mode".

This week Mr Stevenson was due to be sentenced, however the case at Armagh Magistrates Court was adjourned until the New Year after a medical report was requested.

At a previous hearing, prosecution outlined that at 11pm on November 7 last year, police were tasked to Lisanally Gardens in Armagh to a report of a male armed with a hatchet causing damage to a BMW.

Upon arrival, officers observed a number of individuals in the garden of a property, with a balaclava and a hatchet on the ground. Police spoke to a man who was sitting on a bench with injuries to his hands and feet.

His father was also present with a towel wrapped around an injury to his hand.

The injured party told police that he had observed a man in camouflage clothing and a balaclava damaging his BMW car with a hatchet.

He chased Stevenson while bare-footed in the direction of Lisanally Special School and described to officers how he had fallen after trying to scale a 6ft wall.

He struggled with the man to get the hatchet, at which point his father arrived and removed the balaclava. They both identified the man as this defendant - "one of the Stevensons" - and following the retrieval of the hatchet and balaclava, both returned home.

Police later located Stevenson unresponsive and he was taken to Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment.

Later when interviewed, the defendant stated he couldn't remember what had happened but denied the offences he was accused of.

Court heard that the loss to the injured party in relation to criminal damage was around £1,500.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said Stevenson had until November 30 to bring cash to this amount to court or risk imprisonment, though the case has now been put back until January.

At a previous hearing Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter commented how the injured party claimed Stevenson had told them he would kill them as he wielded the hatchet and that they ducked to avoid it.

On Wednesday we spoke to one man in Lisanally Gardens who had been struck with the hatchet during the incident.

He didn't want to be identified but he explained there had been neighbour issues for some time in the area and he said the police had allowed things to escalate.

However, he said he was at a loss as to why Andrew Stevenson, who didn't live anywhere near the area, had travelled from Dungannon to launch an attack.

"I was hit on my hand with the hatchet and the blood was pouring out," the man explained.

"It was a mad incident but things have been going on round here for ages now. I don't know Andrew Stevenson and I don't know why he came here armed with a hatchet to attack the car.

"I hope this is the end of it. I've lived here all my life and we just want to live in peace. My fear is this won't be the end of it."

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