A landlord has evicted all his tenants from an HMO after a man forced his way into the property with a chainsaw after hearing that his stepdaughter had been bullied by fellow residents.
Mark Hunter, 45, was driven to the house in Granby Grove, Southampton, by partner Michelle Gateley, 55, and initially set about two vehicles with the chainsaw.
He then forced his way through the locked front door before using the weapon on the banister and doors, while making threats. Before leaving, Hunter smashed the vehicles’ windows with a metal bar, reports Southern Daily Echo.
Southampton Crown Court heard how the pair became “deeply concerned” about her daughter, who had been locked out of the home and had called her mother asking her to go and collect her pets.
Hunter’s barrister said his client reacted to his stepdaughter being “bullied, threatened and locked out the house”.
He added: “The level of provocation here has been extreme and over many months. All of the residents were ejected by the landlord who had had enough.”
One of the tenants said in a statement: “Before my home was attacked by a man with a chainsaw, I was fairly relaxed. I now move my freezer in front of the door at night. I have not worked since.”
Hunter of Albert Road, Poole, admitted burglary and two counts of criminal damage, while Gateley, of Dominy Close, Hythe, admitted a public order offence.
He was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years and Gateley was given a 12-month community order.
Recorder Joanna Martin said: “You and indeed Miss Gateley were considerably provoked in relation to the actions that you took that night. Whilst your actions are to be condemned, they were nevertheless actions that…are emotional ones that someone can understand.”
The road on which the incident took place, Granby Grove, is heavily populated with HMO properties - approximately a third of all the homes on it are this kind of rented stock, the city's register reveals.