A TREE surgeon grabbed a saw from the boot of his car in a "moment of madness" as he contemplated how to break up a fight at an illegal rave.

Liam Alexander was one of 100 people at the gathering in Malling Down Nature Reserve near Lewes just after midnight on June 24.

After becoming embroiled in a fight, and fearing police were not going to put a stop to the ongoing brawl, he momentarily considered taking matters into his own hands, Lewes Crown Court heard.

Hannah Hurley, defending, said Alexander, who admitted the crime, held it for a "matter of seconds" before changing his mind, at which point he was stopped by police and arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon.

She said the saw did not come out of its sheath and that it was kept in his car because he uses it in his trade.

Sarah Lindop, prosecuting, said police were called to the site after reports of an illegal rave and began to disperse revellers, several of whom were drunk.

They received more calls after a fight broke out at the site. She said: "The defendant told police he had been assaulted and that a fight was still going on and suggested he was going to intervene.

"He said he wasn't thinking rationally possibly because of the alcohol he had consumed.

"But he thought about what he was doing and thought it wasn't a good idea and changed his mind and he was intercepted by the police at this time."

Ms Hurley said: "He is a tree surgeon, it is a job he loves.

"It was a moment of stupidity. He is deeply regretful.

"This shocked him so much that he rarely goes out now.

"It has been hanging over his head."

Judge Simon Coltart said it was clear this was a "moment of madness" rather than anything "more sinister", adding: "I'm satisfied that you regret this incident and that it was out of character and it is very unlikely to be repeated."

He sentenced Alexander, 28, of Old Fort Road, Shoreham, to a 12-month community order which means he must complete 60 hours of unpaid work. He also has to pay £475 in court costs and a victim surcharge. 


FOUR people were left with minor injuries during the rave.

One was bitten by a dog and the other three were injured in the fight, Sussex Police said.

The force said officers took "active measures" to stop the rave escalating further and shut the B2192.

Both Spencer Whale, 43, of Beaconsfield Road, Brighton, and Graham Davis, 39, of Ballards Lane, London, are waiting to stand trial in December after being charged with a public nuisance.