Disabled man used 4mph wheelchair as 'battering ram'

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Kurt Baron a disabled man arriving at Burnley Crown Court after he used his 4mph motorised wheelchair as a battering ram to smash up a  Transit van after two workmen refused to move it.  Baron, 40, had warned two North West Electricty engineers:

Ken Baron, a disabled 40-year-old from Lancashire, used his 4mph electric wheelchair as a 'battering ram,' after flying into a fit of rage when two workmen had inconveniently parked their Transit van in front of his house.

Baron caused an astonishing £2,000 worth of damage to the van's bodywork as well as ramming into barriers where the two Electricity North West engineers were working, before threatening them with a claw hammer, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The wheelchair rampage happened on October 30 last year after he had a row with a blind friend in his house. Witnesses said that a window was smashed and his disabled acquaintance fled the property, complaining he had been attacked.

Engineers Paul Jeeves and Brett Schofield were working outside on underground cabling when an enraged Baron crashed into the barriers surrounding the manhole and yelled: "'I want that f****** van moved now."

The court also heard that a woman pushing a pram had to move into the path of oncoming traffic in order to avoid being hit by Baron's electric wheelchair.

Baron then gave the engineers 'five minutes' to move the vehicle.

Mr Jeeves moved the vehicle a short distance but Baron returned, saying: "Right, I'm going to smash windows," reported The Daily Mail.

The court then heard how he drove down the road towards them, wielding a hammer above his head, before slamming into the passenger door of the Transit van.

Mr Jeeve's co-worker Mr Schofield attempted to restrain Baron and told him to stop waving the hammer around.

Baron, who is confined to a wheelchair after breaking his back falling from a tree, proceeded to throw the hammer at the van and was then abusive to police community support officers who attended the scene.

He then threatened to stab himself with a 12-inch knife inside his home after refusing to let police officers in, according to the Burnley Citizen.

Miss Lisa Worsley, prosecuting, said Baron, who had a record going back to 1992, repeatedly called out the police and the emergency services, and created havoc in the area where he lived, which was accommodation primarily for the elderly and vulnerable.

Sentencing Baron to a two-year community order with supervision and a mandatory alcohol rehab enrolment, the judge told him: "It's perfectly plain to me that a significant amount of your problems arise from the fact you fractured your spine when you fell out of a tree.

"That has left you not only wheelchair-bound, but has caused you complex health, social, psychological and mental health problems," reported the Burnley Citizen.