Two University of Southampton students have been charged with demand with menaces after breaking into a multi-occupancy house with a hammer to retrieve a lost mobile phone, according to The Daily Echo.
Southampton City Crown Court heard how a woman and her boyfriend, using a tracking device on the phone, had previously gone to the house. The door was opened by Sam Miller, a resident, who then directed them to the flat below. They went to the flat but left empty handed and ‘unimpressed by the answer they were given’, claimed prosecutor Rob Welling.
Dylan Campbell, 20, and Nicholas Pyke, 19, then went to the house to get the phone. Sam Miller again answered the door and Campbell demanded the phone and pulled a geological hammer out of his bag. Despite Miller saying he didn’t have the phone, Campbell allegedly prodded him in the chest with the hammer. Miller repeated what he said and ran to his room and shut himself in. Campbell reportedly tried to enter his room by forcing open the door, before giving up and trying to get into the room of another occupant before leaving.
Both Campbell and Pyke live in University halls of residence, and admitted to making threatening demands. They received a 16 month suspended sentence, 260 hour community service and must pay fees totalling £1,500.
The defence Justin Hugheston-Roberts claimed Campbell aspired to become an English teacher and Pyke a biochemist, but said their careers had now been jeopardised.
Judge Peter Henry said that the only two things that had saved them from a prison sentence were that he felt they acted out of ‘a sense of bravado’ and because they pleaded guilty.