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Saturday, 9 February, 2002, 10:04 GMT
Heroin addict jailed
Court graphic
David Hughes was sentenced at Mold Crown Court
Mold Crown Court has heard how a heroin addict, involved in a road rage incident went to the home of the other motorist and threatened his wife, who was a witness.

David Malcolm Hughes then burgled four commercial premises and ransacked a number of their offices in Wrexham.

Mold Crown Court
Hughes admitted the offences against him

The 33-year-old admitted a public order offence following the road rage incident when he approached the other driver with a claw hammer.

He also admitted a charge of intimidating a witness, and four burglary charges.

Hughes, of no fixed address was jailed for 15 months.

Judge Stephen Clarke said the court was driven to impose a custodial sentence because of the spate of offences.

But he said that he was pleased to see Hughes' response to custody and the fact that he was tackling drug and alcohol problems.

Claw Hammer

Prosecuting barrister Peter Moss told the court that Eryl and Sharon Bowen had picked up their child from school in July 2001 and were travelling up Madeira Hill in Wrexham, to an area where it was difficult for two cars to pass.

As Mr Bowen was starting to cross a ramp the defendant accelerated towards him and squeezed past

Mr Bowen saw in his mirror that the defendant's blue Fiat Uno had stopped, he stopped also and shouted.

The court heard that the defendant was leaning out of his window, he got out, and gestured with a claw hammer.

Hughes was arrested and released on bail but the following day he was outside the Bowen's home.

The couple heard a screech of brakes and when Mrs Bowen went to the door Hughes shouted out that he would "bring a load of lads and smash you up."

Drug Addiction

A month later Hughes was responsible for a spate of burglaries around the town - Thomas Removals in Salop Road, the HSS Hire Shop in Hightown, the Smithfield public house, and St Mary's Catholic Club.

Property was taken and in many cases the offices ransacked.

Hughes was arrested after the Catholic Club burglary when a security man at the North East Wales Institute(Newi) saw him emerge from bushes wearing a woollen hat pulled down over his face.

Police were called, and the defendant was as he climbed a gate in Watery Road.

Defending barrister Mr John Wynn-Williams said that his client's offending was caused by his drug addiction but since he had been in custody for the last six months he had been tackling the problem.

"He seems to have kicked the habit," said Mr Williams.

He added: "Once he addresses this problem, it may be that his future will be a brighter one."

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