An "out of control" man burst into a Southampton home wielding a chainsaw after he heard his stepdaughter had been "bullied" by her housemates. 

Mark Hunter grabbed the weapon from the Skoda car he was in before bursting into the HMO on Granby Grove, Southampton. 

Southampton Crown Court heard how the 45-year-old had been driven to the house by his partner, Michelle Gateley after they became "deeply concerned" about her daughter. 

She had been locked out of the home and called her mother asking for her to go and collect her pets.

But when they arrived, Hunter left his partner "shocked" when he set about two vehicles with the chainsaw.

He then forced his way through the locked front door before using the weapon on the banister and doors, all whilst making threats. 

Daily Echo: Michelle Gateley and Mark Hunter outside Southampton Crown Court.Michelle Gateley and Mark Hunter outside Southampton Crown Court. (Image: NQ)

Hunter left the home but not before smashing the windows of the two vehicles outside, an Audi and a Ford Transit van with a metal bar. 

Both Hunter and Gateley, 55, were arrested at their home later that night with the chainsaw being found behind the sofa. 

Recorder, Joanna Martin KC described their actions on October 14, 2022, as "completely unacceptable" adding that they "took the law into [their] own hands". 

Prosecutor, Edward Elton said the residents were all in at the time and that it had a "substantial emotional impact" on them.

Upon being questioned, Hunter denied any knowledge of the offence, whilst Gateley, of Dominy Close, Hythe remained silent throughout. 

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One of the occupants said in a statement: "Before my home was attacked by a man with a chainsaw I was fairly relaxed. 

"I now move my freezer in front of the door at night. I have not worked since."

Another added that he had "feared for his life".

Hunter of Albert Road, Poole later pleaded guilty to burglary and two counts of criminal damage, whilst his partner admitted to a single public order offence. 

She was convicted after she drove to and from the address, and sat in the car throughout, though she was not involved in causing any damage.

Speaking at their sentencing on Friday, Hunter's barrister Peter Asteris said his client reacted to his stepdaughter being "bullied", "threatened" and "locked out" the house. 

"The level of provocation here has been extreme and over many months.

"All of the residents were ejected by the landlord who had had enough". 

Daily Echo: Michelle Gateley outside Southampton Crown Court.Michelle Gateley outside Southampton Crown Court. (Image: NQ)

He added that Hunter has PTSD and suffered trauma in his childhood, though he hasn't been drinking since this offence. 

Keely Harvey, representing Gateley said she had been "deeply concerned" about her daughter adding that Hunter's decision to grab the weapon was "a split second and she did not know what to do to stop this ball that she had started rolling".

Hunter was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years. 

He must complete up to 25 rehabilitation days, a Thinking Skills programme and 200 hours of unpaid work. 

Gateley was given a 12-month community order with 40 hours of unpaid work. 

Recorder Martin said: "You and indeed Miss Gateley were considerably provoked in relation to the actions that you took that night.

"Whilst your actions are to be condemned they were nevertheless actions that, as Mr Asteris put it, are emotional ones that someone can understand."