A rampaging thug from Chester who smashed up his sister’s kitchen and made his nephew sick with fear has had his jail term slashed by top judges.
Artur Stopa, 34, of Brook Lane, and his girlfriend went to his sister’s home in Chester Street, Saltney, on December 5 last year.
In an ‘aggressive, jealous rage’, Stopa threw and smashed items in the kitchen, Mr Justice Holgate told London’s Appeal Court on Wednesday (July 20).
When police arrived, bare-chested Stopa picked up a large kitchen knife and lunged towards the officers.
He had smashed all the kitchen windows and pulled cupboards off the wall as well as damaging a tap so the floor flooded.
Stopa threatened the police with electrocution if they entered and was generally ‘aggressive and abusive towards them’.
At one point he pulled down his tracksuit bottoms and exposed his genitals to the officers, the judge said.
Children crying and shaking
His two young nephews were so scared they climbed out of the window on to scaffolding outside the flat.
They were crying and shaking, and one vomited, the court heard.
Spray was used to incapacitate Stopa, who had caused nearly £3,000 worth of damage during the 15-minute rampage.
He said he had been arguing throughout the day with his girlfriend about an ex-boyfriend and had taken amphetamines.
Stopa admitted affray and damaging property. He was jailed for two years at Chester Crown Court on April 1 this year.
The Polish national had no previous convictions in the UK but had been convicted of car theft and burglary in his home country, the court heard.
The judge who jailed him said his crime ranked ‘amongst the most serious offences of its type’.
On Wednesday, lawyers for Stopa argued his jail term was far too tough and ought to be cut.
It was an ‘ugly incident’ but not as bad as the Crown Court judge suggested, they said.
Out of character
They pointed to the fact that nobody was injured, his lack of previous convictions for violence and the incident being ‘out of character’.
It was ‘undoubtedly a serious affray’, said Mr Justice Holgate.
But the judge, who was sitting with Sir Brian Leveson and Mr Justice Singh, accepted Stopa ‘acted in a way which was completely out of character and not pre-planned’.
Stopa’s jail term ‘was manifestly excessive’, he ruled, reducing the term to 18 months.