A raging motorist grabbed a hammer when an elderly lady’s car pulled ahead of his Vauxhall Zafira at a petrol station queue.
Furious Thomas Ward was threatening to the elderly motorist at Sainsbury’s in Morecambe – and was then told off by a van driver who witnessed his behaviour.
Seconds later, Ward, 32, returned to his car and got a claw hammer.
The van driver had to use his door as a ‘shield’ fearing he would be attacked.
Ward admitted affray and was jailed for nine months.
The Honorary Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown, said: “Whatever the circumstances, what followed next cannot possibly be justified.
“It was undoubtedly an incident of road rage.”
Prosecuting, Francis McEntee said: “He was waving his arms in an aggressive manner.
“The witness says she was clearly terrified and tried to drive away to get away from the defendant.
“The van driver came out of his vehicle and shouted ‘Oi’ and shouted that the defendant should stop picking on an elderly lady.
“The defendant then turned around and walked back to his vehicle. He opened the driver’s door and retrieved a claw hammer.”
In a statement the van driver said: “I could see the look on his face was angry and fixated on me.”
The defendant, of Siddall Street, Oldham, did not use the hammer but bellowed abuse as he walked away.
Ward, who has 32 convictions for 78 offences, was told off for mumbling in the dock and broke down, sobbing: “Please Your Honour, I’m really ashamed of what I did.”
Judge Brown said: “You were remonstrating with her in an aggressive, violent way.
“She appears to have been an elderly person and was obviously terrified by your actions.
“Yes, waiting in a queue and feeling somebody has jumped the queue can be frustrating, but that cannot possibly justify somebody behaving in such an aggressive and unacceptable way.
“When you got the claw hammer you undoubtedly elevated the stakes.”