A ROOFER burst out of his flat with a baseball bat when bailiffs knocked on his door to collect £1,000 of parking fines, Southampton Crown Court heard.

The officials were acting as recovery agents for the city magistates court.

However, Dean Garrathy rushed out of his flat with the bat shouting before running off down the road, said prosecutor Dawn Hyland. Garrathy, 47, of Northern Anchorage, Woolston, admitted possessing an offensive weapon.

Mark Florida-James, defending, said he had made arrangements to meet the bailiffs that morning but they had arrived early and he was terrified they would seize some of his property.

Giving him an 18-month community order and a 120-hour community work order, Recorder Maria Lamb told Garrathy his behaviour had been unwarranted, but accepted it was uncharacteristic. Garrathy must also pay costs and fees totalling £360.