Henchman threatened pub staff with chainsaw to force them to change security contracts

The Harbour View in Roker, Sunderland, was one of the pubs McCloud visited.
The Harbour View in Roker, Sunderland, was one of the pubs McCloud visited.
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A henchman threatened pub staff with a chainsaw in a bid to force their bosses to change their security providers.

Marc McCloud caused terror at some of the premises he visited while armed with a baseball bat and chainsaw - which he revved for effect.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 31-year-old was trying to persuade the bar bosses to have their premises protected by a different security firm.

McCloud, of Lime Street, Millfield, Sunderland, visited five bars in the city within the space of less than an hour on September 2.

Prosecutor Michael Bunch told the court the first premises McCloud visited was the Blue Bell pub where, armed with a baseball bat, he warned the company should get the security “sorted” or he would be back with a chainsaw.

He then went to the Royal Marine bar, where, again, he said they “needed to change security” and warned he would be back.

He then let the pub, but returned 15 minutes later with the chainsaw.

Mr Bunch said: “He returned to the premises with a chainsaw, that was running.

“He revved it so it became clear it was fully operational.

“He approached the bar saying ‘this is just a taste’.”

From there McCloud went to the Harbour View carrying a baseball bat and again talked about the security.

Mr Bunch added; “Again, he returned a short while later, within a matter of seconds, he returned with the chainsaw and carried it towards the bar.”

After leaving one worker terrified, McCloud went into Gatsbys, again carrying a baseball bat.

Mr Bunch said: “He spoke to the manager and again discussed the question of security with the manager.

“When the manager didn’t respond to what he was saying, he, again, said he would be back on Friday with a chainsaw.”

The court heard McCloud’s last visit was to the Alexandra pub.

Mr Bunch said: “A member of staff heard a ticking sound of a motor running.

“On looking up, they saw the defendant walking into the premises, carrying a chainsaw, pointing it in front of him.

“He muttered some comment about security before revving the chainsaw twice, walking back out and returning to his vehicle.”

The court heard the police had already been alerted to McCloud’s activities and stopped his vehicle as he drove away from the Alexandra.

His weapons were seized from the car.

McCloud, who had visited at least two of the pubs in the days leading up to the incidents to talk about security, told police in interview he hated Newcastle and did not want Sunderland pubs having security with Newcastle companies.

Mr Bunch said; “He saw Newcastle companies should not be providing security at Sunderland pubs.”

McCloud pleaded guilty to harassment and threatening with weapons.

The court heard some of the pub staff present during McCloud’s visits were left shaken or even concerned by his behaviour.

Mr Bunch added: “A number talk about concern for their safety while working in the premises, locking up at the end of shifts.

“There was clearly an impact on a number of those present in the premises.”

Paul Cross, defending, said McCloud has not given an in-depth explanation about why he did what he did.

Mr Cross added: “He says now the company knew, I think he said the company knew what he was doing, but he didn’t receive any payment for it.

“He may have believed he would, if he was successful in getting the licenced premises to change their insurance cover.”

Mr Recorder Christopher Williams adjourned the case so McCloud can be assessed by a mental health professional.

The judge said he was “troubled” by the case.

McCloud was remanded in custody and will be back in court in six weeks.