A MASKED man who stepped in front of a woman’s car wielding a machete has been jailed.

Benjamin Ayres, 25, of West House Estate, Southminster, received 12 months for possession of a knife, five months for breaching a suspended sentence and one month for assault, to run consecutively.

At Chelmsford Crown Court last Monday (August 5), he also received one month concurrently for criminal damage and was given a five-year restraining order.

Last year, at around 6.45pm on December 10, Ayres was wearing a black mask with his hood up when he stepped out in front of a woman’s vehicle in High Street.

The victim instantly realised it was him and locked her car doors.

Ayres then threatened her with a large knife before passing officers came to her help and arrested him.

He was sentenced for breaking the woman’s laptop on November 7, 2018 and for grabbing her coat on November 30, 2018, which caused her to fall backwards.

Investigating officer PC Carole Currey said: “Ayres went out wearing a mask and in possession with a machete before stepping out in front of her car in Southminster High Street.

“She quickly locked her car doors before flagging down passing officers who arrested him.

“We would like to praise the victim for her courage, and we would like to express our gratitude to officers for their quick actions.

“Ayres will now spend time in prison and has a restraining order placed on him, further helping to protect the victim.”