Rehab for drug user who made threat to kill

PUBLISHED: 16:03 12 December 2014 | UPDATED: 16:03 12 December 2014


A drug user who threatened to kill his girlfriend has been ordered to receive drug rehab and psychiatric treatment by a judge, Matthew Mingo's 'paranoid episodes' made him believe he was being chased by mystery assassins; he also attacked three people.

A drug user who went berserk and attacked three people in Exmouth has been ordered to receive drug rehabilitation and psychiatric treatment by Exeter Crown Court.

Matthew Mingo also terrified farmers and villagers in isolated Devon Nymet Tracey, near Bow, after a £300 cocaine binge led him to believe he was being chased by mystery assassins.

Mingo claimed he was fleeing killers and being pursued by dogs when he forced his way into homes near Crediton and armed himself with a kitchen knife.

Exeter Crown Court heard how he went on to attack three people a month later in Exmouth during another paranoid episode.

In that incident he threw a bag of chips into his girlfriend’s face and punched two complete strangers, while in The Strand in Exmouth, after a birthday binge in which he claimed to have downed ten bottles of wine.

Mingo, aged 25, of Coleford, near Crediton, admitted forcing entry into a home and possessing a bladed article in the first incident and three assaults by battery, criminal damage and threatening behaviour in the second.

Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, ordered him to receive drug rehabilitation and psychiatric care as part of a two year community order.

He told him: “You have committed a number of offences which were in themselves serious and taken together are very serious.

“I have read the psychiatric and pre sentence reports and it is sensible to conclude that what happened was related to your misuse of alcohol and drugs and the effect they had on your mental health.

“The probation report says you demonstrated an awareness of the impact of your behaviour on the victims and present as being remorseful.

“I am not going to send you to prison because I do not believe it is the best way of protecting the public or your former partner. I hope you will receive advice and help from the medical professionals and the probation service.”

Mr James Taghdissian, prosecuting, said the two incidents were completely unrelated.

The attacks in Exmouth happened in October after Mingo had been drinking on his birthday and met his ex-girlfriend at a chip shop on the Strand.

The court was told Mingo assaulted her and threw chips in her face, attacked two complete strangers in the street outside, and then went berserk back at her house in the town.

He smashed a mobile phone in a jealous rage because she would not unlock it to allow him to check her texts and Facebook traffic and threatened to kill her.

He told her ‘I don’t mind if I go down for five years or for life. It doesn’t matter to me’ and threatened to stab her with the sharp end of a broken spindle from her stairs.

His ex partner and a friend were forced to flee the house and neighbours called the police. He told them he had drunk ten bottles of wine to celebrate his birthday.

In September Mingo was seen acting strangely and going to a number of farms and cottages near Bow, telling villagers someone was trying to murder him or he was being chased by dogs.

The night before he had bought £300 worth of cocaine, the court was told.

Mingo forced his way into a cottage, took a knife from the kitchen, which prompted the frightened cottage owner to lock herself in the bathroom and call the police.

Mr James Calderbank, defending, said reports made it clear Mingo needed treatment for his psychological problems.

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