Devon

Sidmouth forestry worker attacked holidaymaker with axe

A drunken forestry worker who used his tree axe to attack a holidaymaker has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment.

Richard Weddell, 30, attacked a 61-year-old stranger taking photos in the town in July.

Weddell, of Bowd Corner, Sidmouth, admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Judge Francis Gilbert, sitting at Exeter Crown Court, said the danger Weddell posed had to be assessed.

He added: "I am troubled about what a man of 30 is doing hitting a complete stranger with an axe.

"This is not the sort of thing normal, rational people do.

"There is some suggestion he called the victim a paedophile when, in reality, he was a completely innocent visitor taking photos of the gardens in Sidmouth."

David Bowen, prosecuting, said the case should be adjourned to allow the police time to check the victim's recovery.

Mary McCarthy, defending, said Weddell was very drunk at the time and formed the completely incorrect idea that the victim was waiting near public toilets in the park.

Weddell was remanded in custody.

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