Disgruntled Vendor Who Threatened Estate Agents With A Knife Is Sentenced

A man who showed up at an estate agency branch on the Isle of Wight with a knife following a disagreement over the valuation of his flat has been sentenced at court.

Peter Lovell of Granville Road, Totland, attended the Isle of Wight Crown Court for sentencing on Monday, after previously pleading guilty to criminal damage and two charges of possessing a knife in a public place at Pittis Estate Agents.

Annabel Hazlitt, prosecuting, said the 40-year-old wanted to put his flat on the market and contacted Pittis for a valuation on 6 February 2023.

Hazlitt told the court that, on 21 April, an agent from Pittis contacted Lovell about a price reduction, which infuriated him.

On 12 June, Lovell entered the Pittis branch in Freshwater, with two agents inside.

The prosecution said Lovell was holding a dark grey four-inch knife and began stabbing counters and computer screens, cutting phone lines and the adverts in the windows, before tipping over a desk.

Hazlitt said that after he put down the knife, one of the agents was able to grab it and lock themselves in a back room. But Lovell brandished another knife and cut the phone line the other agent was using to contact police.

Jonathan Underhill, defending, suggested a suspended sentence to allow probation to help his client get to the bottom of what happened.

Lovell has no pre-existing mental health concerns and still intends to sell his flat, the defence said.

Recorder Daniel Sawyer handed Lovell a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, to include 150 hours unpaid work.

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