A VIOLENT pensioner who attacked a bailiff with a chainsaw was today starting a six-year jail sentence.

Judge David Bentley had heard how Norman Scarth, 75, who had refused to obey an order to quit a house, shouted to bailiffs who went to evict him: “I’ll let one of you in and whoever comes out alive can have the house.”

When the bailiffs entered the house he went for one with a chainsaw, and tried to stab another.

The two Leeds County Court bailiffs were so traumatised by the incident they have been unable to work since.

Scarth was convicted in April at Sheffield Crown Court of wounding bailiff Alan Teale with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

The judge told the ex-serviceman: “This was a serious and highly dangerous assault. Your intention when you attacked the bailiff was to cause him grievous bodily harm.”

The judge said that in 1999, the executors of the late Mr Denis Roberts began proceedings against Scarth to recover possession of a house at Gledhow Park Grove, Leeds, where he was living.

But he disregarded a court order to quit and a warrant was issued for possession, and he was warned that bailiffs would be attending on June 20 last year.

The judge said: “Two bailiffs attended to execute the warrant and police officers were close at hand.

“When the bailiffs arrived, you were ready and waiting. Barbed wire had been strung across the door and slogans were daubed on the house.

“In at least two of the rooms were gas cylinders with rags wrapped around the nozzles and you had weapons including a chain saw, two knives and a piece of wood studded with nails.”

As the bailiffs mounted the stairs, they saw a bedroom door ahead of them and Mr Teale pushed open the door.


The Judge added: “You started up the chainsaw and immediately lunged at Mr Teale with it.

“He received cuts to his hand as he pushed the blade away. Had the blade sliced into his abdomen, the injury would have been serious if not fatal. You then took a knife and tried to stab Mr Teale, but at that point bailiff Lynden Evans managed to disarm you.

“It was a premeditated planned attack and it has left Mr Teale with a permanent disability to his right hand.

“Both he and Lynden Evans have suffered post traumatic stress and have been unable to work since.”

The judge said he believed that Scarth’s motive for the attack was to get himself prosecuted to provide a platform to air grievances about police and the judiciary.

He added: “You have shown no remorse.

“In the police van you were heard chuckling and when you were asked why you said you were amused by the injury to Mr Teale.”

The judge said Scarth was rude and abusive to witnesses at his trial, calling the bailiffs “wimps” and added: “I believe there is a substantial risk of you committing violent offences in the future.

“Your behaviour during your trial demonstrates you are highly aggressive and have little or no control.

“I am satisfied that you are possessed and are obsessive and labour under the delusion that you are a victim of judicial persecution.

“I bear in mind your hitherto good character and your service record but this remains a very grave offence.”

l Mr Scarth had served aboard HMS Matchless on the Russian convoys during the Second World War and in 1995 the Russian government awarded him a medal to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the war.

Two years later he lost the medal while it was pinned to his beret as he made his way to a parade in London.

The same year he had also stood as a prospective parliamentary candidate in Castleford.