A man who threatened a driver with a machete has been jailed after DNA from his saliva was found at the scene.

Thomas Powell, 28, has been sentenced to a total of two years and nine months in prison after he chased a vehicle and caused damage to it with a weapon.

The incident happened on February 18, 2021, when police received a report of a car driving aggressively trying to overtake another vehicle on Highfield Link, Eastbourne.

The car was being driven by Powell, who shouted and signalled at the victim’s vehicle, flashing his car lights and beeping the horn, before throwing rubbish and debris at the victim’s car as he overtook it on the dual carriageway.

Trying to resolve the issue, the victim followed the car into Burwash Close where Powell exited his vehicle and verbally abused the victim.

Powell of Woburn Way, Eastbourne, then took a sheathed machete from the boot and struck the driver’s door frame, close to the victim’s head. As the victim drove away, Powell chased the car and smashed the nearside window with the weapon.

The victim drove on to Eastbourne Police Station in Hammonds Drive to meet officers.

Saliva located on the victim’s car positively identified Thomas Powell as the suspect and he was arrested on February 23 on suspicion of affray, common assault, criminal damage, and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

He was later charged and after trial in September 2023, was found guilty of threatening a person with a blade/sharply pointed article in a public place and destroying/damaging property of value unknown.

At Lewes Crown Court on October 30 this year he was sentenced to 33 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £190.