Last chance for samurai sword man

Exeter Crown Court Exeter Crown Court

Monday, July 28, 2014
5:30 PM

A man who terrified shoppers in Sidmouth with a samurai sword has been given a final chance to stay out of jail after agreeing to cooperate with the mental health service.

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Simon Fiddes was arrested after a brave customer at the Woolbrook Road filling station followed him down the road and gave police a running commentary of where he was going.

Passers-by were alarmed because he was carrying a three-foot-long sword and muttering that he wanted to ‘cut up some pigs’.

Fiddes escaped with an 11 month suspended sentence when the case came before Exeter Crown Court in December and he was brought back before a judge after failing to cooperate with probation officers.

Judge Phillip Wassall warned him that anyone who broke the conditions of a suspended sentence could expect to go straight to prison, but offered him a last chance.

He told him: “I have a report from the probation officer which says you are now communicating with the mental health service and recommends I should give more time to let the supervision order work. I am going to let it run on, but if there is a second breach it will be more difficult for you to argue that the suspended sentence should not be activated.”

Emily Pitts, prosecuting, said Fiddes had missed three appointments but was now working with the probation service again.

She said: “He has attended all his recent appointments and there has been a further referral to the personality disorder group. Everything is back on track.”

Fiddes was not represented and said nothing in his own defence.

In the earlier case in December, Fiddes, 33, of Ashley Crescent, admitted criminal damage, having a bladed article in a public place and shoplifting and was jailed for 11 months, suspended for two years.

In that case the court heard how police were first alerted when he smashed windows and a glass door at his ex girlfriend’s house and when police went to his home they saw him with the sword.

He fled through a rear window and evaded them but an armed response unit was able to find him thanks to the bravery of a shop customer.

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