A HARTFORD man told a 999 operator he'd kill his wife of 40 years and burn down their house house after a row over mowing the grass. 

Stephen Briscall, of Greenbank Lane, rang emergency services asking them to come and take his wife away after the argument on Sunday, April 14.

It broke out when the 57-year-old told her the grass was too wet to cut, while she disagreed.

He told the operator he was ‘going to kill her’, that he would ‘bury her’ and threatened to burn the house down if she wasn’t taken away.

When police attended, she told officers she genuinely believed he intended to do her harm, so he was arrested.

He admitted making the threats, which were all recorded, but says he doesn’t remember due to how much he’d drank on the day.

He told police the threats were just a way of him venting his stress and anxiety.

Briscall was charged with one count of threatening to destroy property and endanger life, which he admitted at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, May 15.

The case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report, and he returned for sentencing on Wednesday, May 22.

His wife, who was present in court along with their daughter, made it clear through her husband’s solicitor, David Thompson, she didn’t support the prosecution, and intended their marriage to continue.

Mr Thompson said: “This couple have been together, by my reckoning, since they were 17 years old.

“My client’s mental health was not in a good place at the time of the incident.

“He was suffering badly after losing both his nephew and his father in quick succession, which had an adverse effect.

“He phoned 999 himself as he could feel himself slipping into a bad place, but making that telephone was a mistake. He acknowledges it.”

Mr Thompson went on to suggest it was Briscall’s mental health issues, and not alcohol, which were the ‘precursor’ to the threats against his wife.

Passing sentence, chairman of magistrates, Alan Jones, handed Briscall an 18-month community order, including 35-day rehabilitation activity requirement and a six-month mental health treatment requirement.

He was also ordered to pay a £114 victim surcharge, £85 costs, and a £100 fine.