Ammanford man in court for 'false axe murder' telephone claim
10:40am Friday 18th May 2012 in News
A 50-YEAR-OLD Ammanford man telephoned his former boss falsely claiming he had murdered his housemate by “putting an axe in his head,”
magistrates have heard.
Phillip Henry Child, of 6 Union Street, called Martin James, of Swansea, at around 11pm on March 14 froma payphone near his home to say he had killed his housemate and was going back to make sure he was dead.
Llanelli magistrates were told how the two men had known each other for 15 years and remained friends despite no longer working together.
However, following the death of his mother, Child became increasingly unstable and often made prank calls to Mr James in a drunken state.
Prosecutor Ellie Morgan said that in one call a few weeks before the incident, Child threatened his housemate’s life, but Mr James dismissed the comment.
However, during the March 14 call, Child said: “That thing I told you about with the axe, I have done it. I split his head. It’s in his head and I’m going back to do it again to make sure.”
Ms Morgan said Mr James became increasingly concerned when Child kept repeating the claim.
“Usually Mr James can tell if he had been drinking, but on this occasion he was not sure,” said Ms Morgan.
“Child was calm and deliberate about what he was saying.”
Child said: “I’m not joking.
I’ve told everybody I’m fed up with people messing with my head.”
When Mr James asked if the housemate was still breathing, Child replied: “No.”
He then said: “I’m going back to the kitchen to do it again and then I’m going to bed and tomorrow I’ll go to work.”
During the call, Mr James’ daughter contacted the police.
When the officers arrived at Child’s home, they were stunned to find his housemate asleep in bed and completely unaware of the incident.
“He told the police that he and Child were good friends and there was no issue between them,” said Ms Morgan.
David Elvey, for Child, described the incident as “a strange case”.
“He does not remember making the call, but maybe that’s a good thing,” said Mr Elvey.
“This was not a prank call to the emergency services, nor was it a call where he hurled abuse to cause offence.
“This matter has shaken him up considerably and he has since stopped drinking.”
Child pleaded guilty to making a false telephone call for the purpose of causing distress.
Magistrates granted Child an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered he pay £85 court costs.