A MAN has avoided jail despite waving an axe at bouncers because they wouldn’t let him use the toilet.

James Darby, 55, of Daws Heath Road, Rayleigh, was waiting for his takeaway after a night out when he approached the Pink Toothbrush, High Street, Rayleigh to use the facilities.

Doormen refused to let him enter the popular nightclub without paying the entrance fee, despite multiple requests.

In CCTV footage shown to the court, Darby appeared to leave the scene, dressed in a white shirt and dark jeans, without causing a disturbance.

In a “moment of madness” he returned home, grabbed a hooded top and the weapon and returned during the early hours of Saturday, November 18.

The footage showed Darby came back with his head covered, despite having already spoken to the door staff repeatedly that evening, armed with the axe.

Fortunately the door staff managed to use their experience and guile to stop anyone getting hurt.

Darby admitted possession of an offensive weapon and making threats.

Kevin Toomey, mitigating, said: “He wanted to speak to the manager to complain that he had not been allowed to use the toilets.

“He takes full responsibility - it was absolute madness for a man of his age and his reputation.

“He knows the owner of the club because he has done charitable concerts there and he thought he would be allowed to nip in and use the toilets.

“Through pure frustration and embarrassment, he armed himself with his axe because he thought he may come under attack when he went back.”

Mr Toomey assured the court prior to the axe incident, there was no aggression on the part of Darby.

He added: “He is a man of some standing in the community.

“He is a good man who has done a very stupid thing.”

Darby, who appeared in the dock in a dark blue suit, was supported by his family who were in the public gallery.

Sentencing him, Judge Samantha Leigh said: “You went home and returned with an axe. What on earth possessed you to do that, I don’t know.”

Darby was sentenced to one year and two months in prison suspended for two years.

He was given a three month nighttime curfew, must complete 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,200 in costs plus a victim surcharge.

The axe will be destroyed