Ten-strong gang storms home as killer armed with machete makes menacing threat

Matthew Hancock, of Fegg Hayes, pictured in 2014.

Convicted killer Matthew Hancock turned up at a house armed with a machete and threatened to kill a man over a missing bike. The 32-year-old - who was jailed for four-and-a-half years in 2014 for the manslaughter of Knypersley grandad Raymond Cannon - was with a group of 10 people when he arrived at the property in Woodland Street, Biddulph.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard he shouted for the man and said he wanted a bike back. The homeowner was not in but answered her Ring doorbell remotely.

Hancock claimed the woman's son had taken a bicycle and threatened that if it was not returned within five minutes, he would kill him.

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Now Hancock has been sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months. Prosecutor Antony Longworth said the homeowner's son was not living with her because of his behaviour.

The woman received a notification from her Ring doorbell at 6.50pm on January 18 that somebody was at the door. Mr Longworth said: "She answered remotely. She found a large group of about 10 people standing at her doorway led by Hancock. He was later identified from his distinctive tattoos. He shouted for her son and said he wanted his bike back.

"She said he was not there and he did not live there. The defendant explained her son had rammed someone off his bike and taken his bicycle off him. She told him he was not there and did not live there. Hancock said her son had five minutes to return the bike or he would kill him."

The court heard the defendant and the rest of the group left. The woman called the police. An officer reviewed the footage and could see Hancock was holding a machete.

In a victim statement the woman said she feared for her and her son's safety. She was petrified of what could have happened. She did not want to go home. Thinking about what could have happened if she had been at home and answered the door made her sick with fear.

Hancock, of Holdsworth Drive, Fegg Hayes, pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

Anis Ali, mitigating, said Hancock has an unenviable set of convictions. He said: "He wanted to retrieve the bicycle. At no point would he have used the machete. It was a tool and he was a landscape gardener at the time. He will maintain it was a work tool and happened to be with him in the van. It was a short-lived incident."

Mr Ali added that Hancock had served the equivalent of an eight-month sentence on remand.

As part of the suspended sentence Hancock must complete a rehabilitation activity requirement for 50 days, a 90-day alcohol abstinence monitoring and 100 hours unpaid work. Judge Graeme Smith said: "The incident escalated where you armed yourself with a weapon and attended the property. Nobody was at the property. However, she was caused great alarm as there was a group of people whose identity sought to be concealed headed up by yourself, making threats. It was completely over the top and the carrying of the machete had a very clear risk. Matters could have escalated dramatically."

Judge Smith reserved any breaches of the order to himself. He made Hancock the subject of a restraining order which prevents him contacting his victim or going to her street for five years.

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