Court told of death threats in row over lost dog
A MAN lost his temper with his estranged wife during a row over a lost dog – and threatened her with a hammer and a knife, a court heard.
Darren Hill pinned his ex to her bed, brandished a hammer and told her: "I'm going to smash your brains in."
He left the room but came back with a knife, and stabbed the bedroom door when she slammed it.
He told her: "I'm going to kill you," the court heard.
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Prosecutor David Gittins told Plymouth Crown Court the couple had been married for three years, but separated in February after Hill assaulted her.
In March, a court granted a restraining order banning him from contacting her, but the woman "blew hot and cold", the court heard, writing him letters and even giving him a key to her house.
The day after the hammer threat, he phoned her from custody.
Hill admitted a total of seven breaches of the order, as well as common assault, harassment, criminal damage, stealing a pair of men's trainers from her home and possession of 495 diazepam tablets with intent to supply.
Piers Norsworthy, for Hill, read extracts from a letter and a birthday card from Mrs Hill to her husband while he was on remand, telling him she still loved him and expected they would grow old together.
"He very much still loves his wife," said Mr Norsworthy.
"The incidents of violence were when he had been taking drugs."
But Judge Graham Cottle told Hill: "You have a very bad record and have been in a lot of trouble over the years.
"I hope you will seek help with your anger and problems with drugs and alcohol.."
He jailed Hill, aged 30 and of Lympne Avenue, Ernesettle, for 15 months, less 88 days spent on remand or curfew.