These pictures show the trail of destruction left by an embittered husband after he went berserk and chopped up his former matrimonial home with a chainsaw.
Former soldier Andrew Brooks, 43, cut down doors and sawed though furniture in a rage after the £150,000 Lake District cottage was put in the name of his estranged wife Bridget, 46.
The father of two, a landscape gardener, had been desperate for revenge and wanted to knock thousands off the value of the rural property in Marton, near Ulverston following the collapse of the couple’s 14 year marriage,
During his £9,000 rampage, Brooks damaged the front and rear external doors to the property, three internal doors and an internal beam, two woodburning stoves, several cupboards and a fireplace.
It occurred following previous incidents in which he repeatedly hounded and harassed Mrs Brooks causing her to change her daily routines such as walking the dog to avoid him. He had been also been banned from contacting her under the terms of a restraining order.
At Preston Crown Court, Brooks, now of Eccles, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to criminal damage and was jailed for 46 weeks after pictures of the aftermath of the rampage were showed to Judge Jacqueline Beech.
She told him: “This was an act of revenge or retribution against your former wife who had the courage to leave the abusive relationship she was in with you.”
“During the course of that relationship you were physically and emotionally abusive to her and you made her life a misery.
“You were aggrieved about the separation and the sale of the house and equity. You wanted to reduce the value and prospective of a sale by causing damage to it.
“She has suffered anxiety, panic attacks since the separation from you and has been prescribed medication and has anxiety because by the uncertainty of when you might turn up. ”
She said reports alleged Brooks had shown “no remorse” and that he “continued to blame his wife for the current circumstances”.
She added: “This was a pre-planned offence involving you taking a chainsaw to your former matrimonial home to wreak revenge upon your wife. It was part of the continuing course of conduct whilst there was a restraining order.
“The circumstances of this offence and value of damage caused means an immediate prison sentence is inevitable. Your conduct was towards the mother of your children.”
Earlier the court heard the couple split in September 2011 and on May 8 2014 at the matrimonial court, an order was made transferring ownership of the property to Mrs Brooks’ name.
But Mrs Brooks was said to have had concerns that her former husband would take steps to reduce the value of the property, which at the time was vacant, out of revenge for her being awarded the house.
As a result the locks on the door were changed and the keys were deposited at the police station so that entry could only be gained by going to the station. The house insurance was also increased by Mrs Brooks.
Days later Brooks was seen by a neighbour at the rear of his former address walking around the garden with the chainsaw. He was seen taking the chainsaw in order to remove the panel of the PVC door.
He said that he had lost his keys and didn’t want to change the locks before using the chainsaw to get into the property.
Brooks had been previously handed a restraining order in September 2012 following two offences of harassment and then two further charges of harassment where he received a community order.
The court was told that he had been residing in Manchester with his new partner and his eldest son who he was tutoring in the run up to his GCSEs.
It is believed his younger son lives with his mother. In mitigation, Mr Alexander Langhorn asked for his sentence to be suspended and for him to be credited for his early plea.
He said that upon leaving school at 16 Brooks had worked in a number of fields before joining the Armed Forces, serving with distinction throughout the world.
But upon the birth of his second son he left and had worked as a landscape gardener. He added that his client had been “a positive role model”.
Mr Langhorn said: “He had been very much part of his children’s lives and wanted to do the best for them. He knows he has put them at risk.
“He has been tutoring his son throughout the year, he knows that anything he does now, any sentence he faces, the impact is not only on him but also on his family. It places a double weight.”
He added that he was “a hard worker and provider” and that he had been involved in the community-based Dalton Carnival.
“He is a man who goes out of his way to help others.”
Brooks must also pay a victim surcharge of £100. The restraining order will run until further notice.