Ex-soldier given suspended sentence after admitting affray

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A homeless ex-Guardsman tried to car-jack a 17-year-old boy because he was suffering from psychotic delusions and believed he was being chased by killers.

Jamie Perryman was armed with three knives and had a ski mask and balaclava in his rucksack when he pulled open a car door and ordered the terrified teenager to get out.

The victim was parked up and chatting with young friends at the Underfleet car park in Seaton when Perryman staggered out of the darkness.

The boy fled for his life, leaving his car unlocked, but Perryman was unable to drive off because the vehicle was blocked in by a friend who was parked in front.

Perryman gave up and ran off but police found him hiding in bushes nearby, Exeter Crown Court was told.

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Perryman, aged 42, formerly of Sea Hill, Seaton, admitted affray and making threats with a knife and was jailed for 12 months, suspended for two years, and banned from entering Seaton for six months.

Judge Erik Salomonsen said he was taking into account the fact that Perryman has been in custody since the incident on April 29 and has already served the equivalent of a ten-month jail sentence.

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He told him:”I accept on that night you were in a highly psychotic state caused largely by your drug misuse. You went to a car park where there were a number of young people who were behaving perfectly acceptably, talking and sitting in their cars.

“You produced one of the three knives you had with you and attempted to remove one of the young people from the car. He ran away because he was terrified.

“You realised you could not take the car and made good your escape but you did not get far and were arrested.

“A psychiatric report reveals you were suffering from anxiety, depression and paranoia, linked to your increased use of cannabis.

“Your behaviour was completely unacceptable. Anyone who goes into the community with knives and threatens young people must expect a prison sentence and you can blame nobody but yourself for having been in custody for five months.”

Mr Tom Bradnock, prosecuting, said a group of young friends were chatting and hanging around their cars at the car park when Perryman approached them late at night.

He said: “One of the young drivers became aware of Perryman stumbling towards the car. He banged on the window and shouted to the boy to get out of the car while brandishing a knife.

“Perryman tried to pull the young driver out by his shoulder and the boy took off his seat belt and ran off. The driver of the car in front stayed where he was, preventing Perryman from driving away.

“He ran off. The boys said he was agitated and sweating. He said ‘they are going to kill me. There are people after me. I need to get out of Seaton’.

“The boys described themselves as being very frightened by what happened.”

Police recovered three knives of different lengths, a balaclava and ski mask from Perryman’s rucksack after finding him hiding under a bush.

Mr Paul Grumbar, defending, said Perryman was in a severely psychotic and paranoid state at the time but has been stabilised and is keen to resume a normal life in the community.

He is an ex-Guardsman whose life fell apart when he lost his marriage, several jobs and his driving licence and had recently been made homeless.

He had the knives and mask with him along with all the rest of his belongings because he was living rough in a tent. The use of amphetamines and cannabis aggravated his mental illness and he was very ill at the time of the incident.

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